Australia joins 232 tariff exemption parade


Trump declared the war by announcing a 25-per-cent tariff on all steel imports and a 10-per-cent tariff on foreign aluminium products.

The US President Donald Trump announced that he is ready to lift customs duties on imports of steel and aluminum for European Union countries if they take similar measures to the US side.

The American president made his comments after crunch talks in Brussels between European Union negotiators and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in an effort to defuse a bitter row that many fear could turn into an all-out trade war.

The European Union's trade chief dismissed Donald Trump's threat to impose tariffs on vehicle imports, as the US president reiterated that the EU must eliminate barriers to its market for American goods, adding to signs that a widening trans-Atlantic rift could escalate into an all-out trade war.

Trump said in a tweet on Saturday the United States was ready to drop its tariffs if the European Union lowered its "horrific" rates on USA products. "We win big. It's easy!" It has threatened to slap retaliatory duties on around 2.8 billion euros ($3.4 billion) worth of USA steel, agricultural, and other products like peanut butter and orange juice if it is not excluded from the tariff regime.

The EU has been talking with partners about a legal challenge at the World Trade Organization to Trump's plan and is considering safeguards to prevent steel and aluminium, diverted from the United States, flooding into Europe.

Under WTO rules, such countermeasures have to be in place within 90 days of the USA tariffs entering force.

Global trade secretary Dr Liam Fox hit out at the Trump administration over steel tariffs in a statement to the House of Commons this evening. "If you don't have steel, you don't have a country". "It is crap", Trump said, earning cheers from the crowd. "This is about defending our country's primary interests and values, so that our industries and businesses can continue to drive economic growth, and create the good, middle class jobs that we need for our future prosperity".

Still, "I think somebody's got to try", Flake said, citing congressional success in the 1970s overriding then-President Jimmy Carter's tariffs on oils.

"The tariffs will extend an upswing in steel and aluminum prices and users' input costs. While we strongly urge the President to reconsider this action, at minimum we hope that the administration will look to create an efficient exemption process for qualified USA companies in order to alleviate the harm that will be caused by the imposition of this tariff". It will only bring disaster to China, the United States and the rest of the world.

But Mr Turnbull says Australia has a strong anti-dumping regime and it is prepared for steel imports.

"We are passionately committed to free trade, but it must be fair", said Turnbull. The tariffs will not apply to U.S. NAFTA partners Canada and Mexico, and Trump has said other nations can potentially negotiate exemptions. He also added Australia to the list of likely carve-outs.

Complicating matters, Trump indicated on Friday that Australia's carveout was linked to an unspecified "security agreement" outside of trade policy.

OTTAWA-As the United States tries to light a fire under NAFTA negotiations, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says Canada will not be bullied or pressured by the United States as part of those talks. While the Trump highlighted the nations' military and trade relationships, Turnbull moved to clarify Trump's comment about a new "security agreement", saying the president was referring to the legal paperwork that would lock the exemption into place.