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Pete Navarro: 'We don't have a country' without steel and aluminum

Pete Navarro: 'We don't have a country' without steel and aluminum”

The Turnbull government is still awaiting details of the Trump administration's controversial plan - announced last week - despite apparently saying a year ago that Australia would be exempt from such a plan.

Despite frantic diplomatic efforts to achieve an exemption from the controversial plan to impose tariffs of 25% on steel imports and 10% on imported aluminium, the Turnbull government is increasingly concerned that Australian exports will be hit.

So far, the president does not appear to be for turning, tweeting yesterday: "To protect our country we must protect American Steel!"

Australia exports about $500 million in steel and aluminium to the USA each year.

- Global trade experts say they expect the president's decision will make it easier for other countries to enact tit-for-tat tariffs in the name of national security.

Six months of tense talks have produced little in the way of progress and a move by Washington to link the steel and aluminum tariffs to progress on NAFTA was rebuffed by Canada and Mexico.

The price of steel is likely to rise in the short term in the U.S., with flow-on effects to the building and defence industries, potentially pushing up inflation.

The current tax on European cars was decided through complicated worldwide negotiations so to increase it the President may have to pull the USA out of the World Trade Organisation.

- More US trading partners - including Germany, Australia, and Britain - voice strong opposition to the tariffs.

- White House trade adviser Peter Navarro quashes speculation that Trump may exempt some USA allies from the tariffs. But real worries of a tit-for-tat trade war remain as this one plays itself out.

In 2017, the US imported $151 billion more in goods from Europe than it exported to European Union countries.

The US imports most of its steel from Canada. "We had a very bad deal with Mexico, we had a very bad deal with NAFTA", the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada.

The president's rhetoric has been aimed at China, but America's allies, including Canada - which exports about five times more steel to the USA than China - is likely to feel the brunt of the tax.

"Canada would view any trade restrictions on Canadian steel and aluminum as absolutely unacceptable", the statement read. "But if they aren't going to make a fair NAFTA deal, we're just going to leave it this way".

But it could be about China, soon.

.

"I think Donald Trump is channeling General George Custer", Johnson scoffed. The Trump administration wants to slap a 50 per cent US -content requirement on all vehicles made in Canada and Mexico, severely restrict Canadian and Mexican companies from bidding on USA government contracts and abolish or gut all of NAFTA's dispute-resolution mechanisms.

Br>"Akin to 2002, we believe affected regions such as NAFTA and Europe are likely to retaliate with counter tariffs on United States imports".

Well, quite probably yes, Dr Kirchner said. Whether they'll actually do anything is an open question. "I hope at times like this that all of our other friendship counts for something", he said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman warned the tariffs could lead to a global trade war which "can't be in anyone's interest". "But Trump is incredibly unpredictable. What has generally happened [with Trump's more radical policies] is that cooler heads have ultimately prevailed".

That does not mean that Australia will bear the full brunt of the tariffs.

For Australia, it is a mixed bag.

That's a fraction of one per cent of the American economy, he said.

"No, we're not backing down", Trump said at an Oval Office meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

A container ship is docked at the Port of Brisbane, Wednesday, February 7, 2018.

The three countries are now in negotiations regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement.

While the tariffs are targeted more at China, other countries may be affected. The two countries again stood firm.

While crafting economic policy in a fit of pique is undesirable, Trump's aggressive move may have strategic merit.

In short, reorganizing and strengthening our trade relations has been a lively activity in the Trump White House of late.

"You're letting China off the hook", Mr.

But Trump's Republican allies have largely abandoned him on the tariff issue.

Trump said he welcomes a trade war.

The protectionist push also represents a fulfilment of Trump's campaign promises.

Rumors have swirled around Washington in the past week about carve-outs for USA -friendly nations, but Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Sunday on ABC's "This Week" that Trump is 'talking about a fairly broad brush'. "It will be very harmful to the United States economy... and very bad for the worldwide trading system".



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