tinyfav.com May 22, 2018

Trump postpones decision over European Union tariffs, staving off potential trade war

05 May 2018, 01:39 | Myrtle Vega

Trump to extend steel, aluminum tariff relief to some allies — but not all

As steel tariffs squeeze US businesses, uncertainty threatens economic growth

He is due to travel to China with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and White House economic advisers Peter Navarro and Larry Kudlow to meet with their counterparts on Thursday and Friday.

The European Commission prizes deliberation and procedure, while the Trump administration shows a penchant for ad hoc decision-making, exemplified by its announcing the latest reprieve just hours before the deadline.

Five of the top 10 steel exporters to the United States were provided exemptions and two exempted countries, Canada and Argentina, make up 55% of all aluminum imported by the US.

Trump originally did not plan to exempt any countries when the tariffs were first announced.

Ostensibly, the dispute revolves around China dumping its excess steel production on world markets and depressing prices, which leads to problems for American steel producers and American steel workers. The exemptions were to have ended on Tuesday May 1. As of today, however, the USA has reached a deal with two of the top three sources of foreign steel: Brazil (in principle) and South Korea.

The US deficit in goods with China previous year was $375 billion, compared to just $83 billion in 2000, before Beijing joined the World Trade Organization.

The EU statement also said that, while Brussels is open to continuing discussions with Washington, it would "not negotiate under threat" - adding that any "work programme" between the two sides would need to be "balanced and mutually beneficial".

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Turnbull added that his country would continue working with the USA to address trade issues of common concern, naming specifically the dumping and transhipment of these metals by other trading partners. "Fundamentally, the German government's expectation remains a permanent exemption".

Trump had also called for a revised NAFTA deal as he offered to drop the 25 percent tariffs on steel and aluminum in return for the stricter NAFTA. The US on Monday confirmed that South Korea was granted a permanent exemption.

This is a permanent exemption with no changes to previous trading agreements between Australia and the U.S., it's business as usual.

The UK government on Tuesday called the exemption extension "positive" but added: "We remain concerned about the impact of these tariffs on global trade and will continue to work with the European Union on a multilateral solution to the global problem of overcapacity, as well as to manage the impact on domestic markets".

The study, completed by the Washington-based consulting firm Trade Partnership Worldwide LLC, estimated the effect on employment under different scenarios.

Brazil's aluminum industry had opted for 10 percent import tariffs, while the steel industry opted for an imports quota system, the statement said. Beijing owns most of America's more than $21 billion debt.

"The best thing we can all do is just try every avenue and eventually, something hopefully will stick", said Sage Chandler, vice president for global trade at the Consumer Technology Association.

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