European Union bid to counter U.S. move

U.S. President Donald Trump has announced plans to impose steep tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum

A Commerce Ministry official said late Friday that Trump's plan to levy tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum would "seriously damage multilateral trade mechanisms represented by the World Trade Organization and will surely have huge impact on normal worldwide trade order".

US President Donald Trump has confirmed he will sign off on the tariffs, with China the main target.

The analysis came a day after Trump surprised seemingly everyone with specific, imminent tariffs on the materials.

WASHINGTON, D.C.: US President Donald Trump on Friday (Saturday in Manila) welcomed the prospect of a trade war, remaining defiant in the face of the global uproar sparked by his sudden announcement of steel and aluminum tariffs.

The European Union objected and said it would impose retaliatory tariffs on the United States. What's more likely is that higher priced steel and aluminum will disrupt established supply chains, harming dependent industries. That is no showstopper, they contended. Highly restrictive. Mexico must do much more on stopping drugs from pouring into the U.S. They have not done what needs to be done.

The tariffs also could force other countries to divert their steel away from the other markets, threatening Canada's ability to remain competitive.

South Korea is the third-largest steel exporter to the United States after Canada and Brazil.

Sources familiar with Mr. Trump's decision say he faced stern opposition from aides, including top economic advisor Gary Cohn, who argued the move could ultimately damage US industry.

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Yet the consensus is that such an effort is going to worsen American industry in general by creating inefficient domestic industries reliant on government protection to stay profitable, at the expense of export industries, like automobiles, which will struggle with the soaring price of steel within the US.

"I hope we can get an exemption, but the reason why I don't think we will is that 40 per cent of the imports of steel are from Canada", Hejazi said.

Trump's proposal most closely resembled the last option.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said: "If all countries followed the example of the United States, [it] will undoubtedly result in a serious impact on the worldwide trade order".

"I think what the president had in mind was that unlike the Smoot-Hawley days in the 1930s, back then USA had a big trade surplus and the world was in a depression".

The European Commission has said it would respond "firmly" to proposed United States import duties of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium.

During his visit, according to the official Xinhua news agency, Mr Liu and his hosts "agreed that the two countries should settle their trade disputes by cooperation rather than confrontation".

With global stock markets tumbling and allies riled, the president greeted the negative reaction by raising the stakes and vowing even harsher trade policies.


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