European Union steel producers fear job losses over United States tariffs

Lightly informed economic adventurism by the US president is not good for the US and it is not good for the world. Illustration Jayachandran  Mint

Trump said he is open to modifying tariffs for some countries - the Trump administration will allow any country that has a security relationship with the Trump administration to discuss potential modifications to "address the threatened impairment of the national security caused by imports from that country", the White House official added.

President Trump said he's happy to have a trade war, and that they are "easy to win". Great country. Long-term partner. But the president says, "We're going to be very flexible".

"He may be a globalist, but I still like him", Trump said of Cohn, who was sitting in the room and announced earlier this week he is resigning as director of the National Economic Council. It also precedes by just days a special election in a Pennsylvania congressional district that includes many communities once dependent on the steel industry and where Mr Trump is due to campaign on Saturday.

Trump's authority to establish the tariffs stems from a Commerce Department investigation that found that imports of the metals pose a risk to national security.

"I'm not saying every single one will be dealt with", Mnuchin said in response to questions from reporters in NY.

Allies such as Canada and the European Union have called this reasoning into question, given their close political ties to the United States, while the senior administration official sought to bolster it.

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.

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The EU is one of the largest sources of US steel imports and a major market for American products.

He had been expected later in the day to sign a proclamation imposing 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum, but this could slide into Friday.

Canada and Mexico were given specific exemptions from the tariffs for an indefinite period while negotiations continue on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

President Donald Trump his action on tariffs on steel and aluminum imports is necessary to protect industries "ravaged by aggressive foreign trade practices". In addition to such iconic brands, the American products that would face a tit-for-tat European Union tariff of 25 percent range from steel bars and motor boats to t-shirts and orange juice, peanut butter and cranberries.

"Many of the aluminum materials procured by USA customers from Japan are hard to obtain or switch (to) from other sources", the industry body said, warning that the import curb could have an adverse impact on the US industry.

Mr Trump also announced plans to encourage foreign steel and aluminium producers to build plants in the US.

"There's a clear rationale for defending our aluminum and steel industries".

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