We'll drop our tariffs if you drop yours — Trump to EU

11 March, 2018, 01:08 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • EU ready for a 'stupid' trade war if Trump follows through with tariffs

From Japan and South Korea to Australia and Europe, officials lined up on Friday to seek exemptions from President Donald Trump's tariffs on US steel and aluminum imports, while Chinese producers called on Beijing to retaliate in kind.

Brussels immediately asked for an exemption and threatened countermeasures on US-made goods if rejected.

Brussels has warned it could tax imports of politically sensitive American products like orange juice or motorcycles in response to Trump's tariffs. This increases political pressure on US President Donald Trump to give up his intentions to introduce duties on imported steel and aluminum.

As U.S. President Donald Trump signed proclamations Thursday imposing 25 per cent tariffs on steel imports and 10 per cent for aluminium for nearly every country but Mexico and Canada, other nations have expressed their desire to join the lucky duo.

She said, "trade creates wealth, when it is based on exchange and cooperation" and added, referring indirectly to the surprise resignation of Trump's top economic adviser Gary Cohn Tuesday, that, "advocates for this in the US administration are very important". It's enough to go to the beginning of the 2000s when the US authorities imposed steel tariffs for Europe.

As well as making it harder for European metal to find buyers in the United States, tariffs could also mean other foreign producers redirect their output to the EU, pushing the market there down.

Malmstroem said in a statement that she had a "frank" discussion with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer about the steel tariffs, insisting that "the European Union must be excluded" because it is a close U.S. ally.

The three blocs promised during a World Trade Organization meeting in Buenos Aires in December to work together to fight policies that have fuelled steel overcapacity, naming several key features of China's economic system.

The list is being finalized but so far includes USA steel and agricultural products, as well as other products such as bourbon, peanut butter, cranberries and orange juice.


Some products under consideration are largely produced in constituencies controlled by Trump's Republican Party.

"The European Union, wonderful countries who treat the USA very badly on trade, are complaining about the tariffs on Steel & Aluminum", Trump tweeted.

Trump said Canada and Mexico are exempt for now, and other countries could be spared if they can convince the administration that their steel and aluminum exports don't threaten American jobs and industry. He also added Australia to the list of likely carve-outs. The U.S. bought 5 per cent of Japan's steel previous year but just 1.1 per cent of China's steel. "These are measures that would defend our interests". "The truth is quite the opposite: trade wars are bad and easy to lose", said Tusk.

Brazil is the United States' No. 2 steel supplier. It was the most explicit threat yet from the country in the escalating trade row.

Some Democrats praised the move.

Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries said the European Union will "be ready to react appropriately".

"We call for calm-headed behavior", he told reporters in Brussels. "We should prevent a trade war situation from excessive protectionism, in which the entire world harms each other", Trade Minister Paik Un-gyu told a meeting with steelmakers.

Trump, elected on a promise to roll back the effects of globalisation on the United States economy with an "America First" platform, said Thursday he planned to impose 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminium.

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