Chemical industry slams Trump steel tariffs


The president announced last week that the United States would impose heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, with some countries potentially exempted.

Mexico recognizes the problem of global steel oversupply and will keep seeking solutions, but NAFTA talks shouldn't be subject to other domestic USA policies, the country's Economy Ministry said in a statement. But Bush was bringing in tariffs during a U.S. slump before engaging in free-trade agreements elsewhere - including with Australia - while Trump has no such agenda. If they drop their horrific barriers & tariffs on USA products going in, we will likewise drop ours.

The tweet - on top of the imposition on Thursday of sweeping 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent tariffs on aluminum imports - provoked deeper consternation.

The EU's executive arm hinted that the escalating rhetoric and punitive tariffs could eventually lead to a trade war between the biggest economies on the planet, which would hurt both sides.

No wonder the announcement spurred the resignation of White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, one of many who had unsuccessfully warned against the plan.

Trump is not a NAFTA fan. Thailand fears a trade war with the US, sparked by major steel exporters dumping and trying to re-export from Thailand and directed by US President Trump. While there may be players in the USA metals industry that benefit, there are even more people in the metal supply and fabrication industries that will be negatively affected.

The US tariff for cars, at 2.5 per cent, was lower than the European Union rate of 10 per cent, but its rate of up to 25 per cent on trucks was higher.

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While Mr Trump promoted the exemption on Twitter as a "security agreement" Mr Turnbull maintains that's just shorthand for the legal proclamation to bring the exemption into force. Politico quotes the Mexican Economy Ministry in a release that says, "The process of negotiations for the NAFTA modernization continues on a course independent of this or any other internal political measure that the US government takes".

Separately, the European Union and Japan were yesterday in talks with Trump's trade envoy looking to be excluded from United States steel and aluminum tariffs, with the European Union warning that it would retaliate if Washington does not relent.

Trudeau said Canada had a lot more work to do and would press Washington to ensure the exemptions were permanent.

According to an European Union statement, the average European Union tariff is 3 percent, not much more than the United States' average 2.4 percent. "While we strongly urge the President to reconsider this action, at minimum we hope that the administration will look to create an efficient exemption process for qualified USA companies in order to alleviate the harm that will be caused by the imposition of this tariff".

NAFTA talks started seven months ago and the starting to get antsy about getting a deal.

"Thank you for confirming new tariffs won't have to be imposed on Australian steel & aluminum - good for jobs in Australia and in United States!" The investigation was set up to determine whether lower aluminium and steel prices from China was a risk to national security via the closure of USA domestic steel and aluminium smelters.