Trump grants tariff exemptions for Mexico and Canada

“When it comes to a time when our country can’t make aluminum and steel you nearly don’t have a country”, Trump said.

Advertisement

While this may keep trading partners from unleashing immediate retaliation, it could all backfire by antagonizing American allies.

Trump has promised to cut ties to trade deals considered unfavorable to United States interests as part of his campaign pledge.

Trump expressed his dissatisfaction with USA trade deficits with Japan and the European Union in Twitter posts Saturday, though he did not specifically refer to steel trade with Japan.

He said the conversation also touched on the security alliance between the US and Australia, as well as possible talks between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. And that is especially if it just means more importation from the exempted countries. Le Maire added that France would join its European counterparts to “assess consequences on our industries and agree (an) appropriate response”. Then, on March 1, he announced that he would impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

Cohn, who vocally opposed the president’s plan to institute broad tariffs, announced Tuesday that he will resign from his White House post.

Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin is offering a mixed reaction to President Donald Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs widely panned by Republicans. And there will be a long line of companies and countries arguing their imports should be given special treatment.

Both Brussels and Beijing voiced hope that a trade war could be averted, and the European Commission raised the prospect that Trump could consider exempting the EU’s 28 member states from the measures along with USA neighbors Canada and Mexico. Trading partners including the European Union threatened retaliation, triggering fears of a trade war.

China was quick to respond to Trump’s announcement.

He called for dialogue based on the rules of the World Trade Organization in order to avoid a descent into a trade war.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will reduce tariffs in countries that together amount to more than 13 per cent of the global economy – a total of $13 trillion in gross domestic product.

“We have said from the outset it would be completely unacceptable for tariffs to be levied on Canada as part of a national security consideration”, Freeland said.

“In recent days, we have worked energetically with our American counterparts to secure an exemption for Canada from these tariffs”, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters on Thursday, acknowledging the efforts of premiers, business leaders, labour leaders and parliamentarians from multiple parties. The president, citing a report issued last month by the Department of Commerce, has said the influx of foreign metal imports have forced steel and aluminum manufacturers in the U.S.to downsize their operations. Japan will continue to speak to the US about being excluded, trade minister Hiroshige Seko said separately.

Advertisement

Trump is imposing the tariffs on national-security grounds using an obscure bit of trade law. He told Fox News: “As soon as he starts exempting countries, he has to raise the tariff on everybody else” and “As soon as he exempts one country, his phone starts ringing with the heads of state of other countries”.

Donald Trump signs the proclamation in Washington on Thursday. Reuters