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Trump claims tariffs on foreign nations will rescue United States steel industry

17 August 2018

Below is a review of the global trade spat so far this year.

The White House announced plans for "safeguard tariffs" over four years in January, starting at 30 per cent and incrementally falling to 15 per cent.

Seoul notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) on April 6 that it will suspend tariff concessions on 480 million US dollars worth of American imports. USA officials say such action is necessary because the WTO lacks the ability to address Chinese trade tactics.

On March 23, the United States implemented additional tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, exempting Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, the European Union (EU) and Mexico.

On April 2, China hit back by adopting tariff hikes on 128 us items, including pork, sparkling wine, nuts, and fresh and dried fruit products. The widely criticized move escalated tensions between the US and longstanding trade allies, including Canada, Mexico and European Union nations.

WTO complaints begin with negotiations between the parties to the conflict.

One Chinese executive, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that U.S. solar tariffs were a "sideshow" and had little effect on Chinese business. The president has also said the tariffs have been created to promote better trade deals.

In a 20-minute interview with the newspaper, Trump said some people may complain that steel prices may be "a little more expensive" in the short term because of the tariffs, but that ultimately they will drop.

The United States has accused China of using subsidies and bulk manufacturing capacity to drive down prices and put U.S. competitors out of business.

The two governments have raised tariffs on billions of dollars of each other's goods.

Trump claims tariffs on foreign nations will rescue United States steel industry