Aust shares set to rise on tariff exemption

Andrew Cummings
March 12, 2018

While no further bilateral meetings are planned at the moment, contacts are ongoing as the European Union is racing against time to secure an exemption before the aluminum and steel tariffs are enacted in less than two weeks. Indeed, most European Union countries are in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the world's biggest security alliance, together with the U.S.

Trump tweeted Monday that U.S. "Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross will be speaking with representatives of the European Union about eliminating the large Tariffs and Barriers they use against the U.S.A".

But an administration official insisted on Wednesday that Trump's final tariff proclamations had not been softened, saying the "flexible but firm" approach allows exemptions for allies, but must be offset by higher tariffs on remaining countries.

"Working very quickly on a security agreement so we don't have to impose steel or aluminum tariffs on our ally, the great nation of Australia!"

Canadian cabinet members also kept phone lines "humming" with their US counterparts in an all-out push that recalled a lobbying effort in April 2017 to persuade Trump not to withdraw from NAFTA but to pursue re-negotiations instead.

It is not too much to say that no other country would suffer more from USA tariffs than South Korea, which is too dependent on exports for economic growth.

Despite being warned of a potential trade war, Donald Trump, the US President, announced steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports to the US.

"The initial reaction down here was basically, 'You've already called us subhuman rapists so this is par for the course, '" said former Mexican Congressman Agustín Barrios Gómez, who now serves as president of the Mexico Image Foundation.

He told a boisterous crowd that if Europe did not lower trade barriers to USA imports, "we're gonna tax Mercedes-Benz, we're gonna tax BMW". Trade wars are good, he says, they're easy to win.

As with his other America First policies, Trump's protectionist move faces criticism even inside the USA, with news reports saying that some of his advisers opposed imposition of the new tariffs. Some countries have even threatened to retaliate against the protectionist move.

"If we're in NATO, he wants to make sure that NATO gets more money so that NATO can protect all of us and fulfill its goal", Mnuchin said, underscoring Trump's push to get NATO allies to pay 2 percent on defense. "We are hoping we are not forced to use them", he said, but noted that "if the worst case scenario happens, we are ready to take the U.S. to the WTO [World Trade Organization] court".

This transfer is usually economically inefficient because the benefits that domestic producers receive from a tariff will generally be less than the costs to domestic consumers. It agrees with ACC that the tariffs will be harmful to competitiveness.

But the deputy White House spokesman, Raj Shah, said Sunday that no one should have been surprised.

There's no indication from the American President that he'll stop at simply raising the metal bar.

"I'm delivering on a promise I made during the campaign", Trump said.

Jakob Hanke and Hans von der Burchard contributed to this article.

Other reports by iNewsToday