Trump tech tariff threat overshadows strong China factory, investment data
16 March, 2018, 01:12 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
"We are not afraid, we will stand up to the bullies", Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said earlier in the day.
Trudeau said the surplus of steel in the global market is not new and with American tariffs in place, some countries might try to ship to the US through Canada.
"Based on the fact that there are few parts necessary for the upkeep of a vehicle that does not contain significant amounts of steel and aluminum, this action will have a significant negative impact throughout the supply chain, including many small medium and small businesses and their employees that comprise the auto care industry", said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association.
Malmstroem said the real problem is an oversupply of steel on global markets, and she rejected Trump's assertion that the tariffs are needed to protect USA national security, especially when most European Union countries are members of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
USA business groups, while uneasy about triggering Chinese retaliation, have increasingly pressed Washington to take action on Beijing's industrial policies, such as market access restrictions and the "Made in China 2025" plan, which aims to supplant foreign technologies with domestic ones.
The same day, Trump announced talks with Beijing on reducing the USA trade deficit by $100 billion, adding that Chinese officials had been "very helpful" and that Washington would reduce the bilateral deficit "one way or another".
The European Commission, which coordinates trade policy for the 28-nation EU, the world's biggest trading bloc, has said it is ready to impose safeguards, tariffs or quotas to protect its own steel and aluminium industries.
Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen warned Washington not to expect any concessions to win an exemption.
Japan's government has warned the measure could hurt its economic relations with the U.S. But ahead of Saturday's talks, Seko also cautioned that "falling to exchanges of unilateral measures will not be in the interest of any country", according to the Kyodo news agency.
It has already started monitoring incoming metal flows to see whether a surge occurs.
Responding to calls for exemptions, Mr Trump said the "wonderful countries" of the European Union "treat the USA very badly on trade". If they drop their horrific barriers & tariffs on USA products going in, we will likewise drop ours.
"We want free and open world trade because for consumers and for citizens this is the best situation", acting German Finance Minister Peter Altmaier said.
Tariffs on tech exports could potentially hit the fastest growing segment of China's industrial sector, as Trump seeks to impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese imports in the very near future.
After meetings with US trade envoy Robert Lighthizer inBrussels, EU and Japanese trade officials said negotiations would need to continue.
The EU is also maintaining a threat of counter-measures that would target United States imports ranging from maize to motorcycles, and may publish its list next week to allow industry and other interested parties to give their input.
"We call for calm-headed behavior", he told reporters.
Under World Trade Organisation rules, such counter-measures have to be in place within 90 days of the USA tariffs entering force.
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