White House says some countries may be exempt from steel tariffs

March 08 11:37 2018

The decision-making process regarding the tariffs has evolved and more changes could be made before President Donald Trump formally approves them. There are historic things that have taken place in the first year.

Meanwhile, the president weighed in on this year’s Oscars.

The tariff issue also is caught up in the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

President Donald Trump is expected as early as Thursday to sign off on his controversial plan to slap stiff tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, but in a surprise reversal the White House opened the door to exemptions for products from Canada, Mexico and other US allies. “If we tax them 25 per cent, believe me, they won’t be doing it for long”.

Predictably the news caused a firestorm in financial markets and among countries who are not merely USA trading partners but its needed allies on worldwide security issues, such as enforcing sanctions against North Korea.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average initially fell 318 points, or 1.3%, although later recovered to be down 196.86 points, or 0.79%, to 24,679 at 8.15am NZT.

The trigger for the earlier sell-off was the resignation of Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser Gary Cohn yesterday. The former Goldman Sachs investment bank president had opposed the sweeping tariffs for foreign steel and aluminum.

And finally a trade war over steel will weaken America as a nation and tarnish our role as a world leader.

“Secretary of Defense James Mattis, in a letter to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, endorsed the administration’s concerns over Chinese overproduction, but prudently warned, “(Defense Department) continues to be concerned about the negative impact on our key allies regarding the recommended options (i.e. tariffs) in the report“.

Canada is by far the largest single shipper of steel and aluminum to the United States.

Canada exported $24.1 billion-worth of steel and aluminum to the U.S.in 2017, with the vast majority of that coming from Ontario and Quebec.

“This is not going to be a big trade war”, Ross said Wednesday.

The Trade Partnership, an global trade and economic consulting firm, estimated that the tariffs would create more than 33,000 jobs in the metals industries. Lawmakers of his own Republican Party have been turning up the pressure, warning of severe political and economic ramifications and the potential for a trade war from such broad-based measures. In fact, ordinary consumers of all countries are likely to lose as a result of any trade war between countries.

President Donald Trump is selling Hispanic business owners on his new tax cuts.

Matt Priest, president & CEO of the Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America, told FN, “In regard to retaliation on USA footwear exports, we have less exposure because we don’t export a large amount of product to the European market”.

“We’re not backing down”, Mr Trump said during a White House meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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White House says some countries may be exempt from steel tariffs
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