U.S. eases way to more tariff exemptions under pressure By

Malcolm Turnbull

Trump on Thursday set import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, but he exempted Canada and Mexico and held out the possibility of excluding other allies. Your new auto may well have a chassis assembled in the U.S., an engine and wiring system made in Mexico, electronics from Korea and China, and, of course, steel and aluminum from Canada.

As with his other America First policies, Trump's protectionist move faces criticism even inside the United States, with news reports saying that some of his advisers opposed imposition of the new tariffs. Instead, both sides suffer as they escalate their disputes and block economic cooperation - and the suffering in the United States will hit all of us - but the worst may take place among us farmers.

As it happens, few of us were going to make big purchases this year, because of the low commodity prices.

In a speech in the USA on Sunday, Mr Trump lashed out at the European Union, saying they erected "horrific" trade barriers based on environmental and other regulations. It's not going to.

China threatened to slap retaliatory tariffs on USA farm products like soybeans, and the European Union said it too could impose tariffs on signature American brands like Harley Davison motorbikes, Levi's jeans and bourbon. Kooky 18th-century protectionism will jack up prices on American families and will prompt retaliation from other countries.

The suggestion that Britain might go its own way provoked a rebuke from Mr Jyrki Katainen, EU vice-president for jobs and competitiveness. Never mind the net loss of jobs from a full-scale trade war, which would in the end probably be a relatively small number.

British Prime Minister Theresa May expressed her concerns to Trump by phone.

"The exemption represented a positive step in the right direction but we still have a lot more work to do", Trudeau told the room full of aluminum workers.

Trump's action has turned into a day-to-day drama of how the tariffs will specifically be implemented and their short- and long-term effects.

Even if USA manufacturers increased their output of the two metals, it would add only 0.05 per cent to GDP, according to Guatieri.

As of Thursday, the expectation was US trading partners would respond with reciprocal tariffs. It was still hoping for clearer indications about the exemption process.

Brussels has gone the furthest in fighting back against Washington's shock measures, loudly announcing a list of United States products to hit with countermeasures if its exports are affected by the tariffs.

Swedish manufacturer Electrolux h alted its plans to build a $250 million production plant in Tennessee, attributing its decision to Trump's tariff announcement. Trump left the door open to trading partners Canada and Mexico, as well as military allies, being exempt from the measures.

"Dialogue is always the prime option for EU", European Commission spokesman Enrico Brivio said at a news briefing. Trump hopes to revive the USA steel and aluminum industries, which is a worthy goal.

"If you read the papers, you'd think that manufacturing is dying".

"We're doing tariffs on steel".

Out here in farm country, we're anxious about the tariffs and NAFTA.

With backing from Trump, a rise in US import tariffs will allow him to deliver on his campaign promise of protecting U.S.jobs, gaining much needed support as he approaches the half way point in his term of office. "It has a negative impact on the NAFTA talks".

These tariffs were done without a congressional vote because the Legislature decided it was a-okay to give the Executive unconstitutional power (something which has happened throughout the history of this country). If a country such as China is over producing a product, which might be subsidized by the government, a tariff on China's imports might help address the problem.

The association said in the letter that it applauds the administration's efforts to rebalance trade and protect the US steel industry and workers, but it is concerned that global import tariffs on steel and aluminum would have a devastating effect on steel-consuming manufacturers downstream, including the auto care industry.

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