Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

WH in confusion over steel, aluminum tariffs rollout

WH in confusion over steel, aluminum tariffs rollout

White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said documents were now being prepared.

By offering countries a way to escape the tariffs, Trump might have eased the risk of a destructive trade war.

"I don't think our trade policy ought to be used as a playing card in the talks with both Canada and Mexico on NAFTA", said Sen.

Schumer and others said Trump should focus on the punitive trade levies on China and other global competitors who have flooded the USA market with cheap steel and aluminum, undercutting American manufacturers of those products. The president has "huge leeway because it's national security", says Amanda DeBusk, a trade lawyer and partner at Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP.

USA trade policy has always been written with the intent to give the president broad authority to handle worldwide trade without Congress nitpicking. He suggested Australia and "other countries" might also be spared, a shift that could soften the global blow amid threats of retaliation by trading partners.

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Baldwin said Thursday that the tariffs send "a strong message to bad actors like China" but also called for Trump to exempt European trading partners and do more to "target China's cheating".

Other countries, too, could be spared, the president said, if they can convince the administration that their steel and aluminum exports don't threaten American industry. As it happens, a staunch US ally, Canada, is by far the biggest foreign supplier of both metals to the United States and therefore stood to be hurt the most by the tariffs.

Yes. Canada and Mexico could lose the exemption - and be slapped with the tariffs - if negotiations to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement collapse.

The Senate's top Democrat, Charles Schumer of NY, said Trump's instincts on trade were right.

The source who works at a service centre that supplies the auto sector in the United States and Canada said he is purchasing more steel products from mills in both countries. "That would be a case-by-case and country-by-country basis". The bloc is targeting iconic US brands produced in key Republican states on a range of consumer, agricultural and steel products, according to a list drawn up by the European Commission.

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Congress has the power to challenge President Trump on new tariffs, but it's unlikely lawmakers will act, even though almost all congressional Republicans oppose the president's trade policy because they believe it will harm the USA economy.

No ceremony appears on the White House's official schedule.

If the WTO threw out the US tariffs, the president - already critical of WTO rulings against America - might be tempted to pull out of the organization.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin joined the damage limitation effort, claiming that the tariffs, although still in flux, would not hurt the administration's projections for three percent growth.

"There are potential carve-outs for Canada and Mexico based on national security and possibly other countries as well", Sanders told reporters at the White House.

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Being forced to rule on the Trump tariffs "would put the WTO in a tough spot", DeBusk says.

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