UK to plea for exemption to punishing Trump tariffs

Courtesy MGN Gage Skidmore  CC BY-SA 2.0

"I have a feeling we'll make a deal on NAFTA", Trump said.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday formally signed proclamations to impose steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum amid mounting dissent from business groups and trading partners around the world.

Mexico and Canada were granted immediate exemptions from the tariffs because of the ongoing NAFTA renegotiation talks, Trump said.

"The sweeping tariffs announced today are like dropping a bomb on a flea", he said.

"I'm delivering on a promise I made during the campaign", he said, addressing the steel and aluminum workers who had come to the White House to see Trump sign the tariffs.

"Our industries have been targeted for years and years - decades, in fact - by unfair foreign trade practices leading to the shuttered plants and mills, the laying-off of millions of workers and the decimation of entire communities". "That's going to stop". Just days ago, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she had "no expectation" that Australia would be spared.

Unite spokesman Tony Brady called on Prime Minister Theresa May to act, saying: 'US tariffs on United Kingdom steel would be devastating for the British steel industry and the thousands of workers who have battled for its survival, alongside their trade unions.

Analysts have called the justification "an absurdity".

He is misguided about tariffs and trade wars, which are like quicksand because they swallow innocent victims. Annoy the president, which considering his renowned hypersensitivity is easy, and those tariffs are slapped on Canadian steel and aluminum shipped south of the border.

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Chamber of Commerce Thomas Donohue said his organization was very concerned about the potential for retaliation and a trade war. In a statement, McConnell said he was "concerned about the scope" of the tariffs and their impact on the USA economy.

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Arlene Foster yesterday condemned Tony Blair and Sir John Major for stoking fears about the return of violence in Northern Ireland.

"We probably have one month, one-and-a-half months, to get an agreement in principle", he told reporters.

In Brussels, EU politicians considered the consequences.

More than 100 House GOP lawmakers sent a letter to the president Wednesday urging him to "reconsider the idea of broad tariffs to avoid unintended negative consequences to the US economy and its workers".

"However, history has shown that tariffs imposed on imported steel could raise prices on both domestic and imported materials, thus causing a financial burden on our customers", the company said. "That's really the crux of why the European Union is so concerned with this".

The US tariffs are set to go into effect in less than two weeks.

The retaliatory hit list of 100 American products amounts to $3.5bn.

Japan, he said, would stick to World Trade Organization rules in terms of taking measures. "The measures will trigger confusion in the steel market not only in the United States but in Asia", Seko told a news conference.

"Whereas we share the concerns over overcapacity in the steel sector, this is not the right way to deal with it", Malmstrom said. He also said it is a matter of "defending America's national security".

The foreign affairs minister, who is in the USA at the moment, said she would not have time to meet Mr Lighthizer before she flew back to Australia, but flagged Australia's ambassador Joe Hockey and the embassy in Washington DC would be making representations.

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