Published: Sun, March 11, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Tariff exemptions possible for United States military partners

Tariff exemptions possible for United States military partners

US President Donald Trump set import tariffs on Thursday of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium but exempted Canada and Mexico and offered the possibility of excluding other allies, backtracking from an earlier stance.

If such tariffs are imposed, they further argued, the White House should: exclude all fairly traded products and those that do not pose a national security threat; announce a robust exclusion process that allows USA companies to petition for and obtain duty-free access for imports unavailable from domestic sources; grandfather in existing contracts for aluminum and steel purchases; and review the policy's effects on the economy. Canada and Mexico were given exemptions while the renegotiation of a more US-friendly NAFTA deal is underway.

More important, the Trump administration has repeatedly dropped the ball on efforts that might have succeeded in prompting China to curb production, something that would have benefited not just the United States but also allies that are now threatening to retaliate by imposing tariffs on American goods and services.

"Under the WTO rules, the European Union can not put in these kinds of tariffs except after the WTO has found that the move by the USA violated the WTO rules", Ross said.

Trump has complained about low-priced Chinese exports of steel and aluminum, but the latest move was likely to hit Japan and South Korea harder. While China accounts for just a small portion of USA imports, the Trump administration has said it diverts its shipments of the metals through other countries on the way to the U.S.

They wrote that adding taxes in the form of tariffs would undermine the economic momentum of the recently passed GOP tax plan.

Trump said the tariffs - which will come into effect after 15 days - will not initially apply to Canada and Mexico, and that close partners on security and trade could negotiate exemptions. He suggested in an earlier meeting with his Cabinet that Australia and "other countries" might be spared, a shift that could soften the global blow amid threats of retaliation by trading partners.

She said: "It is entirely inappropriate to view any trade with Canada as a national security threat to the United States".

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Instead, he said the tariffs would help American workers and there wouldn't be mass layoffs in industries that use cheaper steel and aluminum.

European and Chinese officials are firing shots across America's bow over plans by the Trump administration to impose protectionist tariffs on its steel and aluminum imports.

"We want to build our ships, we want to build our planes, we want to build our military equipment with steel, with aluminium from our country".

It's expected Canada and Mexico will get some form of provisional exemption. The strings Trump attached to his tariff exemption could tie down an elephant.

The White House is framing the tariffs as a national security issue and says that if action is not taken then the domestic steel industry will collapse.

"We're going to be doing a reciprocal tax programme, at some point so that if China is going to charge us 25 per cent or if India is going to charge us 75 per cent and we charge them nothing", he said.

"Unfair trading practices from countries like China have distorted the global steel and aluminum markets".

"We're comfortable that we're going to manage through this so that it is not detrimental to our growth projections", he told Fox Business.

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