Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Australia PM says Trump to grant tariff exemption

Australia PM says Trump to grant tariff exemption

Trump also announced increased tariff on steel and aluminum imports, imposing 25 per cent tariff on steel and 10 per cent tariff on aluminum, leading to a fall in the share prices of metal companies in India. But he gave Canada and Mexico a reprieve: He exempted them from the tax temporarily - provided that they agree to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement to Trump's liking. As of last Thursday, the expectation was US trading partners would respond with reciprocal tariffs.

Asked to respond to Trump's accusations that the EU is imposing barriers to USA automakers, Malmstrom said that "it's hard to argue on Twitter over these issues, but the European Union is a very open market". "We just want fairness", Mr. Trump said.

According to the European steel association EUROFER, trade with the USA accounted for 15 percent of Europe's steel exports in 2017.

European leaders believe they should be exempt from the tariffs and have threatened retaliation if the plan goes ahead. Trump's chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn, is resigning, reportedly because of his oppositions to the tariffs.

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However, Trump more directly tied Canada and Mexico's exclusion from the tariffs to a successful NAFTA outcome. Yet privately, many nations are moving to consider trade concessions that would exempt them from the US tariffs.

And that doesn't factor in the costs borne from retaliation taken by foreign partners against unrelated USA industries.

The U.S. tariff for cars, at 2.5 percent, was lower than the European Union rate of 10 percent, but its rate of up to 25 percent on trucks was higher. "In the end, no country wins when tariffs are selectively applied", he said.

Canada is the United States' largest provider of steel and aluminum, with about 85 per cent of Canadian exports being directed to that country.

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For the U.S., Trump has long touted and tweeted that economy will see big gains from the move, as he throws a lifeline to domestic manufacturers. Every other country will be required to negotiate a separate deal with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to avoid the duties, which are scheduled to take effect in less than two weeks.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is heading to Canadian steel country this week on a three-day tour created to shore up the industry.

The talks, initially set to address China's over-supply of steel, have always been in the diary but after Trump's dramatic announcement they are now a de facto crisis meeting. What the USA is using is a security excuse.

Asked about Trump's tweet, the European Union in a statement said that "no further meetings as such are planned at the moment".

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

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