Published: Sat, March 10, 2018
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What do Trump's tariffs mean for a UK trade deal post-Brexit?

What do Trump's tariffs mean for a UK trade deal post-Brexit?

"We urge you to reconsider the idea of broad tariffs to avoid unintended negative consequences to the USA economy and its workers", 107 House Republicans wrote in a letter to Trump on Wednesday.

Republicans on Capitol Hill reacted angrily to President Donald Trump's announcement Thursday that he is going forward with new tariffs on steel and aluminum, arguing that the move will harm the economy and that it threatens to start a broader trade war.

Canada may have been spared from US steel tariffs, but one Windsor company is still moving away from the alloy in anticipation of a new NAFTA agreement that could be "just as bad".

A Eurofer spokesman also warned that the US's punitive tariffs not only make market access more hard for European steel but could flood Europe with imports from other nations unable to get into the USA market, pushing prices down and endangering EU jobs.

A separate proclamation was signed by Trump for aluminium, utilizing virtually the same language except for differences in grades covered by the orders.

Boris Johnson spoke with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson about tariffs earlier this week - where the United Kingdom was expected to have made representations for a "carve out" similar to Canada and Mexico.

"If we reach a deal it is most likely that we won't be charging those two countries the tariffs", he said, adding that Australia would also be spared.

Flanked by a handful of steel and aluminium workers, Trump presented the move as a way to rebuild vital industries decimated by foreign competition.

Trump defended the tariffs as a necessary step in protecting the country's steel and aluminum industries in the interest of national security.

Those steel "articles" are defined under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule as 7206.10 through 7216.50; 7216.99 through 7301.10; 7302.10, 7302.40 through 7302.90; and 7304.10 through 7306.90.

Production, however, hasn't fallen the way employment has, because metals industries have become far more efficient.

Trump temporarily exempted its North American neighbours, Canada and Mexico, from the newest measures.

Brussels has already drawn up a hitlist of flagship American products to target for countermeasures if its exports are affected by the tariffs including peanut butter, bourbon whiskey and orange juice. But they stop short of his earlier intention to impose sweeping tariffs that would hit USA allies and rivals alike. He appeared to have conceded some ground after a campaign by Republican lawmakers, industry groups and USA allies overseas. In setting up tariffs, Trump attacks the Chinese trade industry as a whole. Trump signed an executive order on January 23 which pulled the USA out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, fulfilling his anti-Free Trade "America First" electoral pledge.

Close ally Japan warned the tariffs of 25% on imported steel and 10% on aluminium "could have a grave impact on the economic relationship" between the world's top and third-largest economies.

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders added that exemptions would be made on a "case by case" and "country by country" basis.

"But broader USA curbs and countermeasures from Europe or China could derail the exports environment going forward", Kwon said.

He then assumed, that in response, the relevant countries will restrict volumes by a comparative amount on United States exports going the other way.

"Many of the countries that treat us the worst on trade and on military are our allies-as they like to call them", Trump said.

He said it was "vital" the European Union and United Kingdom worked with the USA administration on exemptions to the tariff.

The update came as congressional Republicans and business groups braced for the impact of expected tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum, appearing resigned to additional protectionist trade actions as Trump signaled upcoming economic battles with China.

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