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European Union unable to secure clarity on exemptions from steel tariff

12 March 2018

Maybe we should call in The Don's golfing hero who he's always giving a shout out to, our very own Bob Charles, to make him see sense which of course would be no easy task.

Trump pushed back as he visited western Pennsylvania, in the heart of U.S. steel country, where he boasted of his tariffs and denounced low-quality imports. India holds the ninth position in the list of trading partners that run a trade surplus with the US, China, Mexico, and Japan is on top of the list. The former exports its Royal Enfield range of motorbikes, while Bajaj Auto ships the KTM brand to the US. While lowering tariffs across the world has undoubtedly encouraged greater world trade that has spread prosperity far beyond anything government foreign aid accomplishes, it does not mean that all free trade deals have been free and fair or good for the U.S. The reason for that lies with past U.S. administrations, not President Trump.

Seko did not go into what conditions might allow Japan to evade tariffs and, asked if Lighthizer had brought up the USA trade deficit with Japan, Seko said no.

Trump has singled out Europe in the billowing trade row, threatening to tax German cars if the European Union doesn't lower barriers to USA products.

Conversely, the tariffs from 10 to 25 percent are likely to depress worldwide prices by metal exporters to the United States looking for other markets to dump their product in.

Some European policymakers said they anxious the tariffs were part of a broader assault by the Trump administration on ties between Europe and Washington, which has been the backbone of the post-World War II Western order.

The bloc says that it's a close ally of the USA and therefore any import levies on national security grounds are unjustified. "He's going to get a lot of resistance on this", said Sen.

Of all the untrue and unhinged things President Trump has said during his time in office, this ranks as one of the most truly inane: "Trade wars are good and easy to win".

"The admin's steel and aluminum tariffs are good steps toward fixing predatory practices that hurt workers and cheat companies that produce in USA", tweeted Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO.

For partners like the European Union - which is the top supplier of steel to the United States in terms of value, though not volume - the exemptions serve to make the tariffs even more punitive, because their products will now be forced to compete not only with USA products but also with Canadian and Mexican materials, which will benefit from not having to pay the tariff. In all but three free trade agreements the USA has signed with other countries, there is actually a manufacturing trade surplus (not to mention the services trade surplus) in America's favor. So then they say, 'We want those tariffs taken off'.

It also said Trump was "cherry-picking" particular tariffs to highlight differences, and maintained average tariffs were very similar on each side of the Atlantic - 3 percent for products into Europe and 2.4 percent for those entering the United States. If the U.S. president does pursue this latest agenda, it will likely jumpstart a trade war that no one can win.

A meeting in Brussels between Malmstrom and her US counterpart Robert Lighthizer on Saturday ended without a breakthrough, as the European Union didn't receive reassurances that it will be exempted from metal tariffs.

Brussels has gone the furthest in fighting back against Washington's shock measures, loudly announcing a list of U.S. products to hit with countermeasures if its exports are affected by the tariffs. Trump tweeted that he spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, saying they are "discussing opening up Japan to much better trade with the U.S. now have a massive $100 Billion Trade Deficit".

Brussels has pushed back hard against Washington's shock measures, loudly announcing a list of U.S. products it could hit with countermeasures.

The European Union and Japan urged the United States to grant them exemptions from metal import tariffs, with Tokyo calling for "calm-headed behaviour" in a dispute that threatens to spiral into a trade war.

Added Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin: "There's been an terrible lot of advice - this president doesn't seem to be taking it".

These kinds of tit-for-tat retaliations raise the spectre of protectionism and endanger the global free trade system backed by the World Trade Organisation. Having made little progress in Congress on several GOP priorities, Republican candidates have been banking on a strong economy and the growing popularity of the party's tax overhaul to combat a Democratic electorate energised by its disdain for Trump.

European Union unable to secure clarity on exemptions from steel tariff