Trump establishes exemptions, delays for steel, aluminum tariffs

03 May, 2018, 16:05 | Author: Jason Torres
  • GETTYUS trade war Mr Trump extended by one month an exemption from US tariffs for the EU

In early April, China filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization over the USA -imposed steel and aluminum tariffs.

However EU leaders seemed less confident despite recent bilateral meetings between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron with President Trump.

In a separate trade battle with China, the United States has threatened to impose tariffs on $150 billion of Chinese goods in retaliation for what it argues are Beijing's unfair trade practices and its requirement that USA companies turn over technology in exchange for access to its market. The White House provided temporary exemptions in March and had until the end of Monday to decide whether to extend them. The move came at the eleventh hour, ahead of the Tuesday deadline for the tariffs to go into effect, prompting sighs of relief from exasperated businesses and investors.

"We must come to terms with the fact that the U.S. are no longer a reliable partner".

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday his government had been in regular contact with the White House on Canada's temporary exemption to metals tariffs.

Reuters reported on April 12 that the United States had proposed a quota for tariff-free imports of Brazilian steel, offering to soften trade barriers after tough talk last month.

The last-minute decision of President Trump to postpone tariffs on steel and aluminium till the end of the month sounded both as a relief but also as an extra stress to the ears of the European Union officials. The president has threatened to slap tariffs on as much as $150 billion in Chinese imports in retaliation for alleged violations of intellectual property, while Beijing has vowed to retaliate.

Mr. Lopes said the quotas being offered by the United States in lieu of tariffs would mean a 7.4 percent reduction in the exports of semi-finished steel products and a drop of between 20 percent and 60 percent in exports of finished goods, depending on the product.

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He said the tariffs would "seriously undermine our ability to compete" in the U.S. market. Recently, this has been the case for primary imported metals like aluminium and steel which are commonly used.

According to the EC, EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom will continue negotiations with U.S counterparts, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

But, of course, Trump is an avowed unilateralist, and his trade advisers have equally little faith in multilateral institutions like the W.T.O. and the E.U. So the going it alone against China. To many of America's trading partners, particularly the member countries of the European Union, there is no clear answer to this question.

The last United States ambassador to Canada under Barack Obama said he regrets the uncertainty being caused by his country's current trade policies.

Trump has dangled a permanent exemption as incentive to reach a tentative Nafta deal with Mexico and Canada, though talks continue with no immediate agreement in sight. In 2016-2017, major Australian exports were beef, meat, aircraft and pharmaceutical products, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The U.S. on Monday confirmed that South Korea was granted a permanent exemption.

But Canada and Mexico, which each send more than half their steel production each year into the United States, have repeatedly said that they expect a full exemption from the duties and will not pay a tariff or agree to a quota.

The US deficit in goods with China past year was $375 billion, compared to just $83 billion in 2000, before Beijing joined the World Trade Organization.


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