China Warns of ‘Strong’ Measures to Counter Trump Trade Tariffs

March 09 12:58 2018

US President Donald Trump vowed Thursday to press ahead with 25 percent tariffs on foreign steel and 10 percent on aluminum – singling out Germany for criticism while saying Mexico, Canada, Australia and “others” could be exempt.

Most economists and trade specialists say they doubt the steel and aluminum tariffs alone would trigger a global trade war, but point to the risk of further US measures against China as a major tipping point.

However, this does not include all trading partners and, as such, creates a real possibility of escalating tensions from other countries. At least for now.

“China urges the U.S.to respect the authority of the multilateral trade system, and repeal the measures as soon as possible”, it said. He might decide to impose more anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Chinese aluminum imports after the U.S. government filed an anti-dumping suit last November. Trump invited the workers present at the announcement to speak.

Trump says American steel and aluminum workers have been betrayed, but “that betrayal is now over”. “He can impose tariffs as high or low as he wants”.

But the same official said it truly is a matter of national security – with six USA aluminum smelters shutting down the last few years, and just five remaining, and only two operating at full capacity, he said that leaves the U.S.at risk of having to import all its aluminum eventually.

Canada supplies more than a sixth of all the steel that the US uses and more than 40 per cent of its aluminum.

In South Korea, shares in Posco were down more than 3 percent, while in Tokyo Japan’s biggest steelmaker Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal was down slightly.

“America should confront China’s unfair trade practices, including its attempts to circumvent existing antidumping tariffs and its pilfering of American invention and innovation through coercion and outright theft”, Mr McCain said in a statement. Says Trump, “It’s really an assault on our country”.

The US imported five times as much primary aluminium as it produced in 2016. “It is distressing to see President Trump’s chaotic roll-out needlessly maximizing the collateral damage to American workers, consumers and our global alliances”.

He added that the U.S.is just walking into an “entanglement”. Trump had hinted that the trade protections would exclude Australia, but it wasn’t explicitly exempted.

BUT THERE’S A CATCH? Yes.

“This is not a step in the right direction”, the group’s president and CEO, Steve Handschuh, said.

Trump has been opposed to NAFTA throughout his presidency, but softened his approach during renegotiations in Mexico City last Monday. “Antagonizing our allies and practically inviting retaliation on American manufacturing was completely unnecessary”.

Asked about tariffs on German cars, Streiter said “of course we are prepared for everything” without elaborating.

“I think that’s incredibly cynical and misguided, ” says Edward Alden, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Expect a low-key response from Canada if Trump indeed intends to use temporary tariff relief as a bargaining threat.

“I will seek more clarity on this issue in the days to come”, she said, adding that she will be holding a meeting with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Brussels on Saturday. These moves suggested that Trump would be willing to modify his hardline “America First” trade policy into “America first, but not alone”.

According to a list drawn up by the European Commission, obtained by Bloomberg news, targeted USA goods include motorcycles, jeans, and bourbon whiskey.

By giving countries a potential sanctuary from tariffs, Trump might have temporarily lowered the temperature.

Economic analysts warn that a trade dispute sparked by the tariffs could damage communities that backed the president in 2016. “Our economy and our national security are strengthened by fostering free trade with our allies and promoting the rule of law”.

Brown’s analysis is based on what kind of retaliatory trade measures would be approved by the WTO, assuming that the WTO rules that the U.S. tariffs are not justifiable on the grounds of national security.

And now he’s committed Canada to an 11-nation trade partnership with Pacific Rim countries without US involvement, a deal that will permit, among other things, more foreign auto imports into Canada – which has already infuriated USA automakers and Canada’s auto workers.

The New York Times

China Warns of ‘Strong’ Measures to Counter Trump Trade Tariffs
 
 
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