June 20, 2018

Automakers may seek to water down Trump tariffs

14 March 2018, 04:24 | Taylor George

Automakers may seek to water down Trump tariffs

Automakers may seek to water down Trump tariffs

While ministers from Mexico, Canada and the United States met in the Mexican capital to culminate the 7th round of negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the president was on the offensive.

Even Canadians not involved in the steel and aluminum industry would feel the impact, since steel and aluminum products imported from the USA would see their prices increase under new tariffs.

"I think everybody else really doesn't want a trade war with the USA, and they don't want a sharp decline in global trade", he said, predicting that the countries affected will make efforts to de-escalate the trade disputes. The president made his announcement the same day that officials from 11 other Pacific Rim countries signed a sweeping trade agreement that came together after he pulled the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership past year. The Almond Board of California is aware of the European Union's list of potential products that could be targeted for a retaliatory tariff, the organization said in its March 2018 newsletter. In the event he exempted Canada and Mexico.

The EU's trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said the bloc should be excluded from the measures and she would meet USA trade representative Robert Lighthizer to discuss the situation on Saturday.

David Bailey, professor of industrial strategy at Aston Business School in the United Kingdom, said that the first step could involve the European Union demonstrating that its steel and aluminum exports are not a national security threat.

In my view trade rules must be followed and if counties violate those trade rules they need to be held accountable. "Europe is certainly not a threat to American internal security so we expect to be excluded", European trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said in Brussels.

Another casualty in a pending trade war will be American exporters.

"I think tariffs ought to be used in a very selective way", U.S. Sen. Chrystia also said the Canadian Officials have worked tirelessly with counterparts from the United States in order to secure an exemption from the tariff scheme.

More than 100 Republican lawmakers have signed a letter to Trump expressing "deep concern" about the policy, which they warned could "undermine" economic gains from the president's own tax reforms.

"We are on the losing side of nearly all trade deals", the president tweeted.

One lever that China has is us agricultural exports and it has said in the past that it could target soybeans.

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Trump called the "aggressive" foreign trade practices an "assault on our country".

"While U.S. steel production capacity has remained flat since 2001, other steel-producing nations have increased their production capacity, with China alone able to produce as much steel as the rest of the world combined", the U.S. Department of Commerce reported.

Beijing vowed to "firmly defend its legitimate rights and interests".

Trump says a 25 percent tariff will be added to steel and a 10 percent tariff will apply to aluminum.

The United States is the world's largest importer of steel, with four times as many imports as exports.

While there are several factors behind the rising deficit with its non-FTA partners, the simple fact is that the FTAs the USA have clinched - comprising 40 percent of its total trade - have opened markets to the benefit of US exporters.

"He may be globalist, but I still like him", Trump joked on Thursday, alluding to an ideological clash within his administration that the "nationalists" appear to have decisively won.

US automakers hope that there the is scope for workarounds for companies whose raw material costs will be impacted by a 25 per cent levy on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum announced by Trump.

The administration clarified this week that Canada, the largest single source of imported steel (about 16 percent), would be exempt, as would Mexico (about 9 percent).

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