Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Steel, aluminum tariff decision delayed to June 1

Steel, aluminum tariff decision delayed to June 1 Steel, aluminum tariff decision delayed to June 1
Charlie Simmons | 03 May, 2018, 16:03

That's when European Union trade ministers are scheduled to meet, one week ahead of the Trump administration's new June deadline.

The U.S.is seeking to use the tariff threat to pressure Canada and Mexico to rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement more to President Donald Trump's liking.

"I am committed to working with the Administration to ensure that these tariffs are narrow and targeted to protect our workers and job creators here at home and to enact good trade policies that grow our economy, House Ways and Means Committee chairman Kevin Brady said in a statement".

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Assistant to the President for Economic Policy Larry Kudlow, and Assistant to the President for Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro are among those making the trip to China for meetings on Thursday and Friday.

"The EU should be fully and permanently exempted from these measures, as they can not be justified on the grounds of national security".

The extension reflects concerns by the Trump administration of a swift retaliation on American products by the European Union nations, and will also give the Trump administration more breathing room to work on a separate trade battle with China.

Bruce Heyman blames much of the confusion over NAFTA and other issues on the fact that the Trump administration lacks substantive ideas for what it wants to achieve.

He said the tariffs would "seriously undermine our ability to compete" in the United States market.

WATCH BELOW: Should Canada demand a permanent exemption from steel tariffs?

Meanwhile, French finance and foreign ministries on Tuesday said in a joint statement that "We agree that there is a problem of overcapacity in steel and aluminum". Those exemptions were set to expire at midnight on May 1.

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"At the end of the day if our words are to have meaning we have to act on those", he said.

Lighthizer said China had already followed that path with steel and aluminum - products now subject to steep United States tariffs - as well as semiconductors and "now they want to do it in all these areas, many of which will drive the economy".

The EU's frustration continued over tariffs the USA has justified on national security grounds. "Fundamentally, the German government's expectation remains a permanent exemption".

Chinese steel was the target of the tariffs that President Trump announced earlier this year.

Under a new quota-based system, exports of Brazilian steel to the United States fall by around a fifth, dealing a blow to a key sector already grappling with widespread idle capacity and excessive global supply.

The Treasury is also developing investment restrictions on Chinese companies to prevent them from obtaining US technology through acquisitions and joint ventures.

Trump's embrace of trade barriers this year has sparked fears of tit-for-tat retaliation that could undermine consumer confidence and stymie the strongest global economic expansion in years.

The dispute comes as Washington seeks to stave off a separate trade conflict with China.

China was not included in the exemptions and it later retaliated with its own duties on some United States imports.

The study warns that imposing tariffs on an additional $100 billion of Chinese imports would come at a significant cost to the US economy, destroying 455,000 jobs and reducing GDP by $49 billion.

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