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Trump may impose duties on imports from China

Trump may impose duties on imports from China

Moreover, both Alcoa (aluminum) and Stelco (steel) are major players in these two industrial sectors - and they are owned by USA commercial interests.

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

Trump recently exempted Canada and Mexico from tariffs on steel and aluminum, although the US government has been dropping hints that the exception is only temporary. In the steel notice, Trump cited the "ongoing discussions with these countries" alongside his decision "to exempt steel articles imports from these countries from the tariff, at least at this time".

USA automakers, in general, have much at stake as Trump makes decisions on problems such as the pending renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement and an evaluation of fuel economy requirements through 2025.

On March 1, President Trump announced a plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. As of mid-2017, the government was imposing 149 different restrictions on steel imports.

Is refusing to engage in the current unequal trade relations so insane? Half the average weighted tariffs imposed by China, one third those imposed by Mexico, and one quarter what India imposes. The steelmakers "don't really need tariffs", he says. Canadian foreign affairs minister Chrystia Freeland described Nafta and the steel and aluminium tariffs as "quite distinct issues", adding that "our negotiating positions are absolutely unchanged".

The aluminum tariff could also disrupt the Canada-U.S. Defense Production Sharing Agreement (DPSA), which covers trade in military-related equipment and armaments.

In a letter submitted to President Trump, the Auto Care Association urged the administration to reconsider imposing tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum due to unintended negative consequences it may have on the USA economy and the auto care industry. U.S. Steel and Century Aluminum are already ramping up, bringing back hundreds of workers. But there is still room for further negotiations.

Some Republicans are talking about blocking Trump's tariffs if they can not convince the president to change his mind. As is often said, the various parts for a North American automobile cross the Canada-U.S. border five or six times before their final completion.

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This reminds me of 35 years ago, when roughly 300 protectionist-minded trade bills were pending in the U.S. Congress.

While there will be initially "higher import prices and substitution toward higher domestic prices", that will be followed by disinflationary effects when tariffs diminish demand, said Derek Holt, an economist at Scotiabank in Toronto.

The U.S. tariff for cars, at 2.5 percent, was lower than the European Union rate of 10 percent, but its rate of up to 25 percent on trucks was higher.

The U.S. tariffs could push producers to sell still more to Southeast Asia, depressing steel prices. Other countries affected by the move are also seeking ways to cope with the situation properly.

"Their incentive to negotiate is to head us off from a major trade conflict". But we still have to watch the responses from the nations that are subject to the new action.

The EU has been talking with partners about a legal challenge at the World Trade Organization to Trump's plan and is considering safeguards to prevent steel and aluminium, diverted from the United States, flooding into Europe. Trade experts have said tariffs imposed as a result of the China intellectual property probe may fall outside of WTO rules. "There is a risk that we are too optimistic and that there will be a bigger trade war, which would be negative for the global economy".

That would have negative consequences for American consumers and producers alike, as well as for the US economy. If the U.S.' new trade action ignites a tariff war among them, the amount of global trade will decrease, dealing a blow to Korean exporters overall.

The U.S. has been intensifying trade protectionism since previous year. It was not clear when or where the meeting would take place. South Korea needs to closely monitor its exports to the well as American companies' move to file a complaint against Korean firms.

So Trump's ham-fisted attempts to protect one American industry seem likely to deal a blow to many others. The new tariff action came about a month after the USA introduced safeguard measures against South Korean washing machines and solar panels in January. The US makes a lot of internationally tradeable products that use steel - aircraft, autos, appliances and industrial machinery.