March 23, 2018

Donald Trump wants 'fair' NAFTA to avoid steel, aluminium tariffs

13 March 2018, 09:51 | Kevin Scott

Trump hints that Mexico and Canada could be exempt from steel and aluminum tariffs – but only if they give ground on NAFTA

Trump says he'll remove tariffs if NAFTA deal can be reworked

But even if that's so, Europe, Australia and other trading partners are already warning such tariffs could touch off a trade war, with retaliatory moves aimed at American exports. "We can't have a country that can defend itself and prosper without an aluminum and steel industry".

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

Trump announced March 1 that the United States planned to impose 25 percent of tariff on steel imports and 10 percent for aluminum, as these imports threaten the U.S. national security, Xinhua reported.

The president's claim of a massive trade deficit with Canada is dubious.

"We have had a bad deal with Mexico".

White House officials have said that the tariffs will be applied globally and without exceptions for allies. "Our factories have left our country, our jobs have left our country". He took a more measured tone in the Oval Office on Monday, saying that he didn't think there would be a trade war.

He insisted that it must be made more fair and threatened to end NAFTA if he doesn't get a better deal.

U.S. President Donald Trump said he is "not backing down" on his plan to raise taxes, known as tariffs, on imported steel and aluminum.

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At the same time, he said he wants to implement them in a "loving, loving way" and also opened the door for a like-for-like reduction of tariffs with the European Union.

"We lost, over the last number of years, $800 billion a year".

Trump administration officials frequently refer to the deficit in goods alone, excluding the offset from dominant USA services exports of things like banking and insurance.

Canada still can hope for a last minute exemption as it was done in 2002 when then US President George W. Bush had imposed a tariff on steel imports.

While disgruntled Republicans trigger anxieties at home, other countries involved in NAFTA pose the greater threat of a possible trade war.

US Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said he was "extremely worried" about the impact of a trade war, adding that it could undermine economic gains.

"Any restrictions would harm workers, the industry and manufacturers on both sides of the border", Freeland said.

Speaking with Trump on Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "registered his serious concern about the USA administration's proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum", according to the call readout from the Prime Minister's Office. Europe has already begun considering duties on United States imports of items such as Harley Davidson motorcycles, bourbon, and Levi's blue jeans. "But, I think the smarter way to go is to make it more surgical and more targeted".

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