Australia denies security deal was behind United States tariff exemptions

PM Malcolm Turnbull's warning: US has 'literally nothing' to gain from Trump's proposed steel tariffs

Malcolm Turnbull, Julie Bishop open new talks on Trump tariffs

The tariffs carved out an exemption for Canada and Mexico, and allow other nations to argue for similar exceptions.

"We have a very close relationship with Australia, we have a trade surplus with Australia, great country long term partner we'll be doing something with them", he said.

But as Trump backed away on earlier pledges of tariffs on all countries by exempting imports Canada and Mexico, he signalled Australia could also secure favourable access, a boost the country's only exporter BlueScope Steel.

Australia is not a top exporter of steel to the USA, with Canada, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico and Russian Federation making up the top 10.

"What the prime minister made clear yesterday and what the president's tweet also referred to is now the legal process internally in the United States - it is effectively just about the paperwork that's got to be undertaken", Mr Ciobo said.

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Australian steel and aluminum exports to the United States were worth just over A$400 million past year, government data shows.

Australia has won favour with the United States for its commitment to military expansion in the region.

"We need to assess it on a case-by-case basis and we'd look at that", he said.

"I had a frank discussion with the United States side about the serious pending issue of steel/aluminum tariffs, " the top European Union trade official, Cecilia Malmström, wrote on Twitter after the meeting. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference that Japan's steel and aluminum shipments posed no threat to US national security.

A worker operates a furnace at a steel plant in Hefei, Anhui province on August 18, 2013. Instead, they said, Trump is bolstering domestic industries in violation of worldwide trade rules.

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