Trump presses European Union on trade barriers

12 March, 2018, 06:29 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
  • The Associated Press

Trump said the tariffs, which will come into effect 15 days after he formally unveiled them Thursday, will not initially apply to Canada and Mexico. After a telephone call with Turnbull on Friday, Trump tweeted: "Spoke to PM @TurnbullMalcolm of Australia".

The meeting, which was planned before Trump's Thursday trade announcement, was Europe and Japan's first chance to press their case for an exemption to the tariffs.

US President Donald Trump denies allegations he had an affair with a porn star more than a decade ago and paid for her silence, the White House said.

Trump, who cited a rarely invoked national security section of U.S. trade law as the legal basis for his decision, said he aims to protect the USA industries.

Japan, the United States' top economic and military ally in Asia, was next in line.

The looming departure of White House economic adviser Gary Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs executive who has opposed the promised tariffs, set off anxiety among business leaders and investors anxious about a potential trade war.

Mr Brady and more than 100 House Republicans urged Mr Trump on Wednesday to use narrowly focused tariffs to take action against China and other countries instead of across-the-board measures.

But analysts say the greater concern for regional trade and potential conflict lies ahead with a battle over intellectual property theft, especially targeting China.

In Brussels on Saturday, US trade representative Robert Lighthizer met with his European Union and Japanese counterparts, but the meeting offered little new clarity amid fears of a global trade war.

Europe exports around five billion euros' ($4 billion) worth of steel and a billion euros' worth of aluminium to the U.S. each year, and the commission estimates Trump's tariffs could cost some 2.8 billion euros.

Earlier Mr Trump took to Twitter to praise Australia's commitment to a fair and reciprocal trade and military relationship. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference that Japan's steel and aluminum shipments posed no threat to USA national security.

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European Union countries were compiling a list of United States products that could be subject to reciprocal levies.

"If there is a violation, then we will seek consultations".

European Commissioner Malmstrom, who coordinates policy for the 28-nation EU, the world's biggest trading bloc, said she stood ready to go to the WTO, the worldwide trade arbiter, to impose the bloc's own safeguards within 90 days.

Malmstrom won support from German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The target of Trump's ire is China, whose capacity expansions have helped add to global surpluses of steel.

U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska, said free trade advocates should mount an educational campaign to show that trade is not a zero-sum game and that both sides can benefit.

China's Ministry of Commerce said China would assess any damage caused by the U.S. move and "firmly defend its legitimate rights and interests".

The EU exports around five billion euros´ ($4 billion) worth of steel and a billion euros´ worth of aluminium to the United States each year, and the European Commission, the bloc´s executive arm, estimates Trump´s tariffs could cost some 2.8 billion euros.

The dispute has fueled concerns that soybeans, the United States' most valuable export to China, might be caught up in the row after Beijing launched an inquiry into imports of US sorghum, a grain used in animal feed and liquor.

Finally, the heavy customs taxes that he stated to intend to bring to imported iron-steel and aluminum products in the last week have sparked debates in the global economic circles, as if he opened Pandora's box. "We're not trying to blow up the world".



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