USA wants to decide on tariff exemptions in two weeks, Mnuchin says

Adjust Comment Print

China today demanded US President Donald Trump to revoke his decision to impose steep trade tariffs on foreign steel and aluminium, saying it "firmly opposed" the move which will seriously undermine global trade order.

He and Republicans, who hold more traditionally conservative positions on trade, believe the president's proposed 25 percent hike on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum will have real consequences, especially for manufacturers, car-makers and others who use the raw materials.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop won't have time to meet him before she flies home from the United States, but said Australia's ambassador Joe Hockey will push the case.

CGTN's Rachelle Akuffo spoke to Carlo Dade, director for the Trade and Investment Centre at the Canada West Foundation about US steel and aluminum tariffs, and the signing of CPTPP.

Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo has previously said that NAFTA talks are "independent" of Trump's tariff actions.

Business leaders in the steel and aluminum sectors were reportedly flying to Washington Wednesday night in anticipation of a tariff signing created to protect them against foreign competition. We'll be doing something with some other countries, he said.

"These measures could make a significant impact on the economic and cooperative relationship between Japan and the US, who are allies", said Japan's trade minister, Taro Kono, in a statement.

"They will charge us 50, we charge them nothing".

The White House said Mr Trump was expected to make a final announcement by the end of the week and officials were working to include language in the tariffs that would give Mr Trump the flexibility to approve exemptions for certain countries.

Moscow, South Korea welcome possible meeting between U.S. , N. Korean leaders
A statement from White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the place and time of the meeting was still to be determined. On Thursday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged the United States and the DPRK to hold talks sooner rather than later.

European Union trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom vowed to press for an EU exemption from United States tariffs on foreign steel and aluminium when she meets her American counterpart in Brussels on Saturday. "He's not quite as strong on those tariffs as we want".

Trump signed proclamations at a ceremony at the White House while surrounded by steelworkers.

Trump said the tariff hikes ordered Thursday were needed to protect USA national security by ensuring the survival of the country's metals producers.

The fight over tariffs comes amid intense turmoil in the West Wing, which has seen waves of departures and negative news stories that have left Trump increasingly isolated in the Oval Office, according to two senior officials speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal discussions.

He repeatedly argued that exemptions would throw the whole thing out of whack, saying that "as soon as you exempt one country, then you have to exempt another country".

"I am pleased that the president has listened to those who share my concerns and included an exemption for some American allies, but it should go further", Ryan said in a statement.

Are European officials planning their own form of retaliation?

Despite lingering uncertainty about how long the exemption will last, the Mexican peso rose against the United States dollar after the president's announcement and the Canadian dollar also regained ground it had lost against the greenback.