More Countries May Be Exempted From Steel And Aluminum Tariffs

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A position of privilege

China accounts for only a small fraction of United States steel imports, but its rapid rise to produce half the world's steel has helped create a global glut that has driven down prices.

BRUSSELS --European Union trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom said she's still in the dark about whether the bloc will be let off the hook from planned US tariffs after a "frank" but ultimately fruitless meeting with her American and Japanese counterparts in Brussels Saturday.

"We're calling in all contacts at every level", Julie Bishop, Australia's foreign minister, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Norman, the golfer known as the Great White Shark, who has been effusive in his praise of his friend Mr. Trump.

Trump tweeted on Friday that he spoke with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull about trade and military cooperation.

Seko did not go into what conditions might allow Japan to evade tariffs and, asked if Lighthizer had brought up the USA trade deficit with Japan, Seko said no.

The proclamation signed by Trump ordering the tariffs do suggest some possible grounds for exemptions based off the specific reasons listed for excluding Canada and Mexico.

Who's in the queue for waiver?

The White House announced Thursday that Trump is imposing a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum, saying those industries are vital to American national security and that it was important to protect them from unfair trade practices by other nations. "I don't think we can rule out a trade war, and then we have an unhinging of the global economy which affects everybody", she said.

Mr Trump's announcement of import tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium has sparked fears of a trade war.

We reported this week that the USA trade deficit rose in January to $56.6 billion, the highest level since October 2008 when it was $60.2 billion.

Early in President Trump's term, Mr. Navarro was outmaneuvered by Mr. Cohn, the Goldman Sachs President-turned-Trump economic adviser.

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The transatlantic tiff is taking place precisely at the moment that the USA is renegotiating NAFTA with its Canadian and Mexican partners, and it's impossible to separate the two theaters of what might soon become a global trade war.

But taking legal action could not only launch a protracted process, but also trigger U.S. ire.

This shed light on Trump's attacks against Germany - the biggest economy in the European Union - that have accused Berlin of contributing much less than the United States toward the funding of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

"If we do not act immediately, Europe is at risk of losing a strategic industry", he said.

In the case of aluminum, the USA produces a fraction of its needs, meaning a trade war could leave it short of the metal for making all kinds of goods, including civilian and military aircraft.

Why we care: So far, Donald Trump's main explanation for the abundance of school shootings in America (and only America) is not that guns are ridiculously accessible here, but rather that we have a mental health crisis.

Canada was the largest USA source of steel a year ago, followed by Brazil, South Korea, Russia, Mexico, Japan and Germany. Seoul is badly in need of a free pass for its steel industry.

Brazil, which after Canada is the biggest steel supplier to the United States market, said it wanted to join the list.

Technically, Trump wouldn't have to remove the tariffs if the WTO declared them illegal. The lack of details about when or how individual countries could apply for waivers has only compounded the uncertainty surrounding the economic impact of the tariffs.

In talks, the United States should not expect any European Union concessions to win an exemption, European Union officials said.

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