Trump postpones steel tariff decision for Canada, EU, Mexico

EU's fire and fury over Trump's delaying tactics on trade tariffs
SA loses out on Trump's steel tariff exemption

01 May, 2018

"We have been discussing this with the USA administration and letting them know it would be a very bad idea to disrupt (the) very complex trade between Canada and the United States when it comes to steel and aluminum", said Trudeau.

China has said it is open to trade negotiations with the United States after U.S. President Donald Trump proposed imposing tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese exports and threatened additional tariffs of $100 billion.

The Trump administration has extended negotiations on steel and aluminium tariffs for 30 days with Canada, the European Union and Mexico. Trump has announced that an administration delegation led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and trade adviser Peter Navarro will visit Beijing for negotiations on Thursday and Friday this week.

On Monday, EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström held last-minute minute talks with United States commerce secretary Wilbur Ross but, again, failed to secure a definite answer to removing the tariffs for the EU. Ross did not name the countries.

The prolonged exemptions for Canada and Mexico come as the Trump administration is working to renegotiate NAFTA, the free trade agreement among the three countries. Chief Executive Officer Mike Bless, leading the second-largest USA aluminum producer, echoed the Commerce Department's original recommendations to the president that said all imports must be subject to either quotas or tariffs.

In Malmstrom's latest telephone conversation with Ross, Malmstom rejected Ross' demand for a voluntarily limit of European Union steel and aluminum exports to the United States of 90 percent of the average 2016-17 level.

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Trump has invoked a 1962 trade law to erect protections for USA steel and aluminum producers on national security grounds, amid a worldwide glut of both metals that is largely blamed on excess production in China. Top-level talks are due to resume on May 7.

South Korea agreed to limit its exports to the United States as part of broader discussions involved in updating its bilateral trade agreement with the USA and was granted a permanent exemption.

In her meeting with Trump, Merkel said, she saw little progress in obtaining permanent exemptions.

"The only thing that I can tell you today is that we are patient but we are also prepared", European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told a news conference earlier on Monday.

If it loses its exemption, the European Union has said it will retaliate with its own tariffs on US goods imported to Europe. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

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