EU, Japan start push for exemptions from Trump tariffs

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told CNBC on Monday that Canada's exemption from the tariffs has nothing to do with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations but he thanked Trump for the "special consideration" given to Canada over the tariffs.

The new steel tariffs is a good idea, except I don't see how the U.S. can compete with China when the workers there probable get a few dollars a day when union steel workers in the USA get from $30.00 to $60.00 an hour.

The EU exported about 5.5 million tons of steel to the USA previous year.

"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.

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".

But lobbyists in Washington expressed concern that Trump's ambitious tariff plan would also include other labor-intensive consumer goods sectors such as apparel, footwear and toys.

In an earlier statement, Wang Hejun, a ministry official, warned that the tariffs "will surely have a serious impact on the normal global order".

"We're going to ensure that Canadian steel is Canadian steel", he said at Dofasco, where he also promised unspecified measures to better protect workers' pensions where companies go under, downsize substantially, or are otherwise bought out.

It has already started monitoring incoming metal flows to see whether a surge occurs. But then, if other countries want to take part in the European Union response, "of course, we are kind of open to these discussions". "I think this is a bad idea; it's bad for European citizens, for Dutch citizens and it will turn out to be bad for USA citizens as well, so I very much hope that we can make sure that we avoid going down such road", he said.

US President Donald Trump is mulling fresh tariffs on billions of dollars in Chinese imports, aiming in particular at the tech and telecommunications sector, according to media reports.

The EU is also maintaining a threat of counter-measures that would target US imports ranging from maize to motorcycles, and may publish its list next week to allow industry and other interested parties to give their input.

A second person, who is an industry lobbyist in Washington who is familiar with the administration's thinking said the process was being led by Peter Navarro, an avowed protectionist, who has accused American companies of conniving with the Chinese state, and by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who also favors tariffs as a tool.

Under World Trade Organisation rules, such counter-measures have to be in place within 90 days of the U.S. tariffs entering force.

"Their incentive to negotiate is to head us off from a major trade conflict".

Any Japanese response, he said, would be in line with World Trade Organisation rules: "If there is a violation, then we will seek consultations".

  • Tracy Klein