Trump Optimistic on NAFTA After Canada, Mexico Dodge Metals Tariffs


Trump downgraded the signing to a'meeting in a cryptic tweet on Thursday morning

United States president Donald Trump has imposed controversial tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium in retaliation to what he has called “unfair trade”.

Colorado’s congressional delegation includes some of the prominent Republicans pushing back on President Trump’s announcement Thursday afternoon to place a 25 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports. The White House is said to be considering measures that extend far beyond sanctions including banning Chinese investors from acquiring an interest in U.S. tech companies, expanding the powers of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States or even prohibiting USA stock exchanges from listing Chinese companies.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will be leading the review process before the tariffs take effect 15 days from Thursday.

Trump’s proclamations on steel and aluminum called on Mexico and Canada to “take action to prevent transshipment” of steel and aluminum through their countries and into the U.S.

Brussels has gone the furthest in fighting back against USA stiff tariffs, threatening retaliatory levies on US imports like peanut, bourbon, cranberries and orange juice, if the 28-nation bloc can not be spared.

“The European Union, wonderful countries who treat the U.S. very badly on trade, are complaining about the tariffs on steel and aluminum”, Trump said in a tweet Saturday.

While steel company CEOs say tariffs will bring back American jobs, numerous trade experts, industry groups, politicians and even members of the aluminum industry argue tariffs won’t revitalize US manufacturing and could harm other segments of the economy in the process. “And that’s four times the tariff that we charge on their cars coming in here”.

“Today, I’m defending America’s national security by placing tariffs on foreign imports of steel”, Trump said.

The EU, Japan and the United States have agreed to meet again in the margins of the Paris ministerial meeting of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to discuss overcapacity issues. Trump has already said that Canada and Mexico will be exempted indefinitely provided they agree to renegotiate a North American trade deal to his satisfaction.

“We hope that we can get confirmation that the EU is excluded from this”, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem told policy makers, experts and reporters at a German Marshall Fund event in Brussels.

As such Trump asserted that he is going ahead with his plans to sign the executive order to impose import tariffs on steel and aluminum.

The question that remains is when, if at all, will the US trade priority shift to NAFTA negotiations?

Trump cited national security concerns as the legal basis for the tariffs, a permissible reason under WTO rules.

The European Union warned before the announcement that it was ready to retaliate with counter-measures against iconic USA products such as Harley Davidson motorcycles, Levi’s jeans and bourbon.

The exemptions for Canada and Mexico are contingent on the three countries reaching what the USA views as a favorable deal renegotiating NAFTA in continuing talks. “It undermines the benefits that the new tax law provides and runs counter to our goal of advancing pro-growth trade policies that will keep America competitive in the 21st century global economy”, Hatch said in a statement. Retaliation measures could include European Union tariffs on American bourbon, oranges, and tobacco.

“We’re going to be doing a lot of that”, Trump said.

Trump’s unexpected announcement of the tariffs last week roiled stock markets as it raised the prospect of an escalating global trade war. On Friday, he appeared to add Australia to the list.

Donald Trump’s decision to add tariffs to steel and aluminum imports has shaken worldwide markets.

Trump’s tweets follow China’s moves to resolve the simmering trade tensions.

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