Turnbull says U.S. set to grant Australia tariff exemption


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Fredrik Erixon and Hanna Deringer are director and policy analyst, respectively, at the European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE), a policy research think tank dedicated to trade policy and other international economic policy issues of importance to Europe.

Europe is the biggest exporter of steel to the United States, accounting for almost 5 million tonnes of total annual imports of about 35 million, and Brussels has warned Trump it would impose countermeasures if hit.

While it was not entirely clear whether the threat reflected actual USA policy or merely an effort by the president to play to an appreciative crowd, he had used similar language earlier on Twitter.

Trump said on Twitter that the European Union had objected to planned new import tariffs on steel and aluminum while itself imposing "horrific" trade barriers on USA products.

She argues that since European Union companies are not state subsidised or in overcapacity, they can't be considered a source of "unfair trade" with the US.

"We believe in free trade but it has to be fair, there should be a level playing field".

The tariffs rollout has been rife with confusion and dissension in the White House.

The EU rejects Trump's argument that the tariffs are required for national security reasons.

"This thing is going to drag into the summer and into the fall", Schwebel said. "But it's consistent with what the president said not just during the campaign, but for decades".

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The European Commission is considering a preliminary list of punitive tariff on United States products in response to Trump's adoption of protectionist tariffs under the pretext of preserving his country's national security.

"We can't even sell our farming goods in there, they totally restrict us".

Earlier in Beijing, Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan said any trade war with the USA would only bring disaster to the world economy. "But we are not afraid, we will stand up to the bullies", Malmstroem said.

It buys about 60 percent of its military assets from the United States, allows Marines to rotate through Darwin every year, and swaps intelligence with Washington.

Other countries seeking exemptions from the tariffs will have to make their case through U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, but the president will make the ultimate decision, a senior administration official told reporters Thursday.

The Japanese government plans to explain to the US side that restricting imports of high-quality Japanese steel could negatively affect USA industries and employment because these products are used in oil field development and other industries in the United States.

Brussels has pushed back hard against Washington's shock measures, loudly announcing a list of U.S. products it could hit with countermeasures.

When President Trump points to examples of how the USA has lost out from previous trade deals by accepting higher import tariffs for its exports than it sets itself he is merely stating the facts.

These kinds of tit-for-tat retaliations raise the spectre of protectionism and endanger the global free trade system backed by the World Trade Organisation.