Published: Sun, March 11, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

Trump Says Australia to Secure Exemption From US Tariffs

Trump Says Australia to Secure Exemption From US Tariffs

Beijing's restraint reflects the fact that Trump's tariffs on steel imports, though they play well with his U.S. political base, won't have much impact on the Chinese economy.

Trump says a 25 percent tariff will be added to steel and a 10 percent tariff will apply to aluminum.

Administration officials have said Peter Navarro, director of the White House National Trade Council, and conservative commentator Larry Kudlow were the "top two candidates" for the job. The president's chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn, was so dismayed by Trump's tariff tantrum that he quit. In public and in private, Trump still speaks frequently of his victories 16 months ago in Democratic-leaning states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and MI, where working-class white voters helped propel him to victory. Several spoke of how excessive "dumping" of steel and aluminum imports had negatively affected their jobs and families.

Canadians only began following this campaign closely during its final days, after the US president pushed the tariff story onto front pages around the world. The results of the Trump administration's investigation could change what many Silicon Valley companies, striving to do business in China, have long seen as the price of entry.

However, he said "real friends" of the United States could win waivers from the measures, which come into force after 15 days.

"We export 70 percent of the almond crop to other countries - it's our number one crop in Stanislaus County", said Stanislaus County Farm Bureau Executive Manager Wayne Zipser.

More news: China strongly opposes Trump's hefty tariffs on steel, aluminium imports

Canadian cabinet members also kept phone lines "humming" with their USA counterparts in an all-out push that recalled a lobbying effort in April 2017 to persuade Trump not to withdraw from NAFTA but to pursue re-negotiations instead. The White House is said to be considering measures that extend far beyond sanctions including banning Chinese investors from acquiring an interest in USA tech companies, expanding the powers of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States or even prohibiting U.S. stock exchanges from listing Chinese companies.

"Our initial assessment of the steel and aluminum tariffs the President announced today indicates negative and unintended consequences that run counter to the administration's intention". However, it took on more urgency after Trump's tariff move. On Monday, the U.S. Court of International Trade, which hears cases involving trade and customs law, dismissed a challenge by a group of Canadian solar panel manufacturers that sought to block a 30 percent Trump tariff on imported solar cells. Whether they permanently dodge these misguided, punitive measures depends on how they behave in the ongoing North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations.

And so it wasn't a total surprise to see Trump back down and exempt Canada and Mexico, and then later give one to Australia.

Another country that appears set to be granted an exemption from the tariffs: Australia.

The announcement comes amid a last-minute lobbying effort to blunt the impact of tariffs.

Flake of Arizona said he wants quick action on his proposal "before this exercise in protectionism inflicts any more damage on the economy".

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Turnbull went a step further, telling reporters in South Australia on Saturday that he was "very pleased the President was able to confirm that he would not have to impose tariffs on Australian steel and aluminum".

Given the importance of trade to agriculture, congressional members from Nebraska and western Iowa - all Republicans - have pushed Trump to reconsider in letters, public statements and, in some cases, White House meetings.

Then came the suggestion that Trump was using this to negotiate with Canada and Mexico over Nafta - but that was also odd because that shot down his national security reasoning and opened the U.S. up to retaliation under the World Trade Organisation rules (which would be likely anyway, given his national security reasoning was clearly bogus).

President Donald Trump says he'll hold an afternoon meeting on the steel and aluminum industries.

Trump first drew the link between the metals tariffs and NAFTA on Monday in a Twitter message.

But Isely said unless someone is buying a new vehicle, which could cost a couple hundred dollars more, the tariffs likely won't have a big impact on an individual consumer or their wallet.

More news: White House economic adviser Gary Cohn stepping down

President Donald Trump, as he seeks to respond to gun violence in the wake of the Parkland school shooting, will gather opposing sides at the White House on Thursday to discuss the role of video game violence. Trump's national security adviser, Gen. H. R. McMaster, learned Kushner met with officials from various countries but never reported the meetings to US authorities, as required.

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