Republicans 'extremely worried' by Trump's metal tariffs plan

PA Wire  PA Images

PA Wire PA Images

The talks, which are said to have been productive, come on the heels of a suggestion by the US president that the tariffs may be used as leverage against Canada and Mexico at the NAFTA negotiating table. The iconic motorcycles are produced in Ryan's home state of Wisconsin, and Kentucky, the home of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is well-known for its bourbon. So are fellow Republicans, including House Speaker Paul Ryan.

It's unclear whether the GOP pushback will have any effect on Trump, who surprised fellow Republicans Thursday when he announced tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum.

There has been coordination with the commission, a source said.

In a statement released Monday - prior to news of the European Union retaliatory tariffs - Ryan criticized Trump's plans. Ikenson, head of the trade policy group at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, said industries that use steel in the US employ more people than companies that produce it.

"No, we're not backing down", Trump told reporters following his Oval Office meeting with embattled Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu. "These producers now have to compete in hypercompetitive global markets using steel that is 20 per cent above the world price".

History has taught us how trade wars work. Trump fired back, arguing on Twitter that "trade wars are good, and easy to win" while bemoaning USA deficits. She says it's critical that Canada be exempt from these tariffs.

So after several days of losses, Asian markets are rebounding with Japan's Nikkei jumping by nearly 2%. Hong Kong is up over 2%, with China's main markets gaining 1%.

Stresses inside the White House? As we will see later, that's an argument against tariffs, not for them. Trump's announcement not only caught markets off guard last week.

In a tweet Monday, he doubled down on his proposal, tying it to ongoing renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico, two of America's largest steel and aluminum traders.

"Since the outset of the NAFTA negotiations, we've worked in partnership with the Government of Canada, and in partnership with the rest of the North American steel industry to define what we want out of that negotiation and come to a collaborative solution", he said.

"Canada must. treat our farmers much better", he said.

Various U.S. auto industry organizations have issued statements opposing Trump's tariff move.

28% of independents supported the tariffs, while 55% said they were against them.

"We are not looking to get into trade wars", he said.

The tariffs on steel and aluminium announced last week by USA president Donald Trump are, if not a threat, certainly a challenge to the free trade settlement that has benefited Australian workers since the reforms of the early 1980s.

It is China's huge trade surplus with the United States that has attracted most of the Trump administration's ire. Weaker global prices for both metals have made it hard for many USA producers to survive. That's the thing with trade wars - they can escalate quickly and easily spin out of control. He remains confident a trilateral deal will eventually be inked. President Trump vowed to tax European cars if the EU retaliates against his plans to tax imported steel and aluminum. Taken together with actions on washing machines and solar panels, the proposed move accounts for just 4.1 percent of USA imports. Some remember the imposition of steel tariffs during the George W. Bush administration, which they argue cost more jobs than they created.

The the third-largest vehicle exporter globally after Germany and Japan, accounting for 7.7 percent of total world exports. And in the face of a US-China trade war, India can not afford to take any risks.

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