Trump, tariffs, trade: What's at stake?

22 March, 2018, 01:14 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Trump intends to impose duties of 25% on imported steel and 10% on aluminum imports

Peter Altmaier, the German minister for economic affairs and energy, met with Ross one day earlier in hopes of heading off a trade war between the United States and E.U. The E.U. has made public a 10-page itemized list of US products that could be targeted for retaliatory measures if the steel and aluminum tariffs take effect on March 23.

In recent days, top steel suppliers such as Brazil, South Korea and Japan have complained that the office of the US trade representative has yet to establish a process for countries to apply for tariff exemptions, leaving it unclear whether any will be granted in time to forestall billions of dollars in border charges. "We don't have a lot of time".

Administration officials have said that exempting too many countries from the tariffs might permit Chinese steel to enter the United States via those countries.

Trump has repeatedly focused on punitive trade measures in recent weeks.

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In issuing the tariffs, Trump moved to fulfill a campaign promise to aid domestic steelworkers and get tough on trade rivals, whom the president blames for America's industrial and economic troubles.

Imposing duties on imports of those products could spell trouble for some prominent USA retailers, including Walmart and BestBuy, which sell products imported from China.

The White House declined to comment. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Twitter a week ago that he had received a "commitment" from Trump that the duties would not apply to Australia. China is the largest US trading partner, importing more than $460 billion annually.

China argues that trade benefits both countries, but Li did acknowledge USA concerns.

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All three countries and others have called on Trump to exempt their countries from the tariffs. And what's more, Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden and others in Europe are trying to negotiate a European Union-wide exemption.

On Monday, she said she wants to work with the US and other partners to address the "root cause" of the issue, according to the report. USA officials and industry representatives suspect that such circumvention is happening particularly through Turkey, South Korea and Vietnam, but there's been no definitive study confirming that.

The signatories, which include Walmart, Target, JC Penney, American Eagle Outfitters, and Costco, account for more than USD1.5 trillion in annual sales and tens of millions of American jobs.

In the letter, the trade groups argue that the steep tariffs would "trigger a chain reaction fo negative consequences for the US economy, provoking retaliation; stifling USA agriculture, goods, and services exports;and raising costs for businesses and consumers".

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