Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

United States tariff exemptions to boost Australian exports: industry

United States tariff exemptions to boost Australian exports: industry

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised aluminum and steelworkers on Monday he would defend them against possible U.S. tariffs and called U.S. President Donald Trump to stress that "mutually beneficial" cross-border supply chains should be preserved.

Turnbull went a step further, telling reporters in South Australia on Saturday that he was "very pleased the President was able to confirm that he would not have to impose tariffs on Australian steel and aluminum".

"This is very important for the thousands of people who rely on these industries for work", Turnbull tweeted.

"Tariffs threaten to strangle the global golden goose", said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics. "Big Deficit. If not, we Tax Cars etc. FAIR!"

The EU's top trade official has employed strong rhetoric as the row with US President Donald Trump over steel and aluminum tariffs heats up following fruitless talks.

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Trump on Friday said Australia would become the third country to be free from a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent for aluminum.

Along with a huge range of steel products, the EU's hit list of flagship American products lined up for counter measures includes peanut butter, bourbon whiskey and denim jeans. It is clear the U.S.is willing to risk ruffling a few feathers to achieve its goals - the Paris Agreement past year being one example - but would a trade war with the E.U.be a battle the US can't win?

But economists said the net impact of the tariffs on the US economy is negative, because they benefit just a small slice of the economy, while harming almost everyone else.

NAFTA talks started seven months ago and the U.S.is starting to get antsy about getting a deal. The EU trading bloc is seeking exemption from the tariffs. While there may be players in the US metals industry that benefit, there are even more people in the metal supply and fabrication industries that will be negatively affected.

"We are prepared and will be prepared if need be to use rebalancing measures", Katainen said. The investigation was set up to determine whether lower aluminium and steel prices from China was a risk to national security via the closure of USA domestic steel and aluminium smelters. "Increased costs will make our industry less competitive and harm American workers, consumers, and our economy". "We believe that protectionism is a dead end". However, an across-the-board action against all steel and aluminum imports such as Trump was proposing affects countries that are playing by the rules, and makes USA companies vulnerable to retaliation. Indeed, most European Union countries are in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the world's biggest security alliance, together with the United States.

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