Published: Thu, March 15, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Trump highlights talks with European Union over `unfair´ tariffs

Trump highlights talks with European Union over `unfair´ tariffs

Canada is the United States' largest foreign provider of steel and aluminum, with about 85 per cent of Canadian exports being directed to that country.

While it was not entirely clear whether the threat reflected actual U.S. policy or merely an effort by the president to play to an appreciative crowd, he had used similar language earlier on Twitter.

Joseph Galimberti says Canada has to work very quickly to identify possible attempts to circumvent the USA tariffs by sneaking steel in through Canada and must be prepared to act to stop this.

The news website Politico earlier reported that the U.S. Trade Representative's office had presented Trump with a package of US$30 billion in tariffs last week, but Trump told aides that this wasn't high enough.

Japan and Australia are among others asking to be exempt from the proposed import duties of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent of aluminum.

Concerns that a protectionist wing will dominatethe White House may be overdone. Asked on ABC's "This Week" whether Trump's national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, was among those caught off guard, Shah demurred.

Meanwhile, the European Union is filing a complaint with the World Trade Organization, arguing that the obscure, national security-related trade law Trump used to justify the tariff violates WTO rules.

"We can't even sell our farming goods in there, they totally restrict us".

"Dialogue is always the prime option for EU", European Commission spokesman Enrico Brivio said at a news briefing. In a meeting with officials from Korean steelmakers on March 9, the government said that it would consult with the discuss tariff exemptions or reductions. A better way to cultivate a stronger domestic steel and aluminum industry is to increase federal funding for infrastructure projects that will boost demand for these and many other products.

European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom will host her United States and Japanese counterparts in Brussels on Saturday to discuss steel overcapacity as part of talks that begin in December at a World Trade Organization meeting in Buenos Aires.

The Trump administration earlier approved higher tariffs on Chinese-made washing machines, solar modules and some other goods, prompting Beijing to accuse Washington of disrupting global trade regulation by taking action under USA law instead of through the World Trade Organization. And we urge the United States government to do the right thing to protect free trade and to avoid using these trade protectionist measures against trading partners in the world.

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 assurances that it will be exempted from the metal tariffs.

"I think this is counterproductive", Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, said Sunday on CNN. India has found mention in several remarks made by Trump on trade in recent weeks.

Trump received rare support, however, from a liberal Democratic congresswoman, Senator Elizabeth Warren of MA. The legal basis of the order is Section 232 of the US Trade Expansion Act which allows Washington to set up big trade barriers for national security.

Trump was unmoved by those threats, instead declaring trade wars "easy to win" as he moved forward to implement a key campaign promise.

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