Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

Steel and Aluminum Makers Restart Plants After Trump's Tariff Announcement

Trump's next trade target: China's IP theft Steel and Aluminum Makers Restart Plants After Trump's Tariff Announcement
Glenn Montgomery | 11 March, 2018, 03:00

Trade minister Hiroshige Seko said Friday that Tokyo will consider actions that are within the framework of the World Trade Organization in response to U.S. President Donald Trump's move to impose stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop won't have time to meet him before she flies home from the USA, but said Australia's ambassador Joe Hockey will push the case.

Here's the thing, though: The indefinite exemptions for Canada and Mexico already cover 25 percent of the steel imported to the United States.

Republican U.S. Rep. French Hill, who represents Arkansas' 2nd Congressional District, said he respects the president's decision but remains concerned about the tariffs' effects on the state's workers and companies.

The Trump administration has not said how long the three sides have to come to a deal before the tariff exemptions will expire.

Cities could face similar problems if they are heavily dependent on exports or if their economies rely on cheaper steel and aluminum prices. But he said during a Cabinet meeting earlier in the day that the penalties would "have a right to go up or down depending on the country and I'll have a right to drop out countries or add countries".

"These measures could make a significant impact on the economic and cooperative relationship between Japan and the U.S., who are allies", said Taro Kono, Japan's trade minister, in a statement. Trump had them flown in hoping to illustrate his move with workers whose production lines and plants might be bolstered. He also said that the United States is open to modifying tariffs on individual countries, depending on how they treat the US.

Trump said the tariff's would "defend America's national security".

"We want to build our ships, we want to build our planes, we want to build our military equipment with steel, with aluminium from our country".

The exemptions for Canada and Mexico would start immediately with an unspecified duration.

The US president lauded a special relationship with Australia while admonishing another key ally, Germany, during remarks in Washington on Thursday.

The "wonderfully flexible document" is created to accommodate USA security relationships with other countries and provide "ironclad" protections for the industry, he said.

Trump apparently will be negotiating future possible exemptions, meaning we could essentially see a series of miniature trade deals with individual countries, each affecting the steel and aluminum industries in new ways.

"If you exempt Canada, then you have to put big tariffs on everybody else", Navarro told CNN.

The tariffs, worth billions of dollars, sparked immediate protests from top trading partners the European Union and Brazil, with retaliatory action expected from China and other economic powers. You don't have steel.

Photo President Trump after signing an order on tariffs.

Despite lingering uncertainty about how long the exemption will last, the Mexican peso rose against the USA dollar after the president's announcement and the Canadian dollar also regained ground it had lost against the greenback.

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