EU, Japan push for Trump tariff exemptions

Aaron Brown
March 11, 2018

"We hope that we can get confirmation that the EU is excluded from this", EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem told policy makers, experts and reporters at an event in Brussels. But she has also vowed to press ahead with countermeasures, in line with World Trade Organisation rules, if the tariffs are imposed.

Britain's International Trade Secretary Liam Fox described Mr. Trump's method for dealing with the problems facing the global steel industry by imposing the 25% tariff on steel and 10% on aluminium as "absurd".

He said other countries could be spared if they can convince the administration that their steel and aluminum exports don't threaten American industry.

Japan's government has warned the measure could hurt its economic relations with the U.S. But ahead of Saturday's talks, Seko also cautioned that "falling to exchanges of unilateral measures will not be in the interest of any country", according to the Kyodo news agency.

European Union, Japanese and USA trade officials confer at EU headquarters in Brussels, March 10, 2018.

The EU has warned that it stands ready to slap "rebalancing" tariffs on about 2.8 billion euros ($3.4 billion) worth of US steel, agricultural and other products, like peanut butter, cranberries and orange juice. She noted that under WTO rules, once Trump's tariffs come into force in two weeks, the European Union would have 90 days to enact the measures.

Mr Trump says the measures will "protect the American worker" and fulfil a campaign promise.

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Lawmakers from both parties said Trump's action on trade would hurt the economy and increase prices for consumers and businesses. But Trump's comments and tweets early Monday suggested he was also using them as leverage in the current talks to revise NAFTA.

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Vosoughi remains skeptical, though, and said that he thinks these interventions will influence only a small number of people. But the top 1 percent of falsehoods routinely had audiences of 1,000 to 100,000 people, the study authors reported.

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"The European Union, wonderful countries who treat the US very badly on trade, are complaining about the tariffs on Steel & Aluminum", Trump tweeted.

"We are friends. We are allies".

UK Steel says 7% of its steel exports go to the USA, worth £360m.

On Friday, the European Union said it was not clear whether the bloc would be exempt from Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs.

While carrying a message to Washington to push forward a diplomatic breakthrough over North Korea, South Korea's national security office chief Chung Eui-yong asked United States officials to support Seoul's request for a waiver, a presidential spokesman said.

The EU is arguing that it has a long-standing security alliance with the United States and is co-operating to address the issue of overcapacity in the steel sector. Shares in European steel makers fell, although Germany's two biggest producers, Thyssenkrupp and Salzgitter, have insisted the impact on them will be limited.

The EU executive said it remained unclear how an exclusion would work.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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