Britain must steel itself for the painful fallout of Trump's trade tariffs

Aaron Brown
March 7, 2018

If Juncker's threats lead to actual tariff retaliation, we are worse off than with Trump's tariffs alone.

"I'm not going to provide a commentary on the Trump administration's trustworthiness", Ciobo said on Saturday when it became clear that Australia would likely not be spared. "We'll see. The president makes the decisions", he told NBC News.

President Donald Trump lashed out at European Union trade rules Tuesday, saying the bloc has made life near "impossible" for U.S. firms, and threatening to ramp up tariffs on imports into the US. General Motors imports about 700,000 cars a year, as does Fiat Chrysler. Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House of Representatives also urged Trump not to proceed with steel and aluminum tariffs.

"In my opinion, the [American] vehicle market would be hit hard and could even slide into recession", he said. 'When we're behind on every single country, trade wars aren't so bad, ' he added. "Trade wars are always lost by all involved and the President continues to treat trade as a zero-sum game". Over the weekend, administration officials also suggested that there would be no exemptions, even for close US allies.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May also expressed concerns in a telephone call to Trump on Sunday.

Late last week, Trump declared he would soon levy punitive steel and aluminum tariffs - 25 and 10 per cent respectively - against the rest of the world in a bid to protect American steel and aluminum producers from unfair competition.

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"Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum will only come off if new & fair NAFTA agreement is signed", Trump said.

"We have large trade deficits with Mexico and Canada".

Republican senator Lindsey Graham said the sweeping action would let China "off the hook", adding the tariffs would drive a wedge between the United States and its allies. The law on which Trump is relying "is far broader than the law used in 2002 and could result in far steeper tariffs on a wider variety of steel products from a longer list of countries", Christian said.

Sen. John Thune, a South Dakota Republican who's a member of GOP leadership, told reporters Monday night that Republicans are still looking at what legislative recourse they have to stop Trump's action on trade, but first they are trying to convince him not to go through with it. But with the surprise tariff announcement, the fate of the agreement is very much up in the air.

Final details of the tariff plan aren't yet known, and foreign allies have been lobbying Trump over the phone to narrow the scope of his trade decision.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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