Wilbur Ross: Tariffs Will Help Bring Back US Steel Industry

Trump singles Australia out

Trump Has Played Right Into China's Hands

Britain blasted the tariffs as "not the right way" to tackle the problem of global overcapacity in steel and said it would work with the European Union to consider the scope for exemptions.

Last week Trump stunned the world - and his own aides - with an off-the-cuff announcement of his plan, even before White House lawyers judged the legality of the tariffs.

Trump should have said $100 billion. So if the U.S. and Europe were to combine together and say we will no longer buy from China, strategically the intent to try and resource production back or to limit Chinese purchases as much as possible, China doesn't buy very much in Europe and the United States anyway and what it does tend to be necessities like food rather than the luxuries it can afford to not buy, so in that respect China would have a much lower trade surplus and it would look much more vulnerable to a financial crisis of some sort.

Trump invited the workers to speak.

The US neighbor to the north was also by far the largest supplier of alumina and aluminum, followed by China, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

Japan, another major USA ally in Asia, called Trump's decision to impose tariffs "regrettable".

Nonetheless, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, whose company is manufacturing solar roof tiles and will soon be manufacturing solar cells in Buffalo, New York, saw the tariff discussions as an opportunity to shore up his other product line, electric cars.

Other administration officials echoed the argument.

Trump, like president Ronald Reagan before him, believes in peace through strength.

Mr Trump and his recently departed, anti-protectionist economics advisor Gary Cohn made no secret what the result would be, telling anyone who would listen that China forces U.S. businesses to transfer intellectual property as a cost - a tariff if you like - of doing business there. United Steel Corp. has said it would restart.

"We have structured these proclamations in a way which are unequivocally created to defend our aluminum and steel industries", the official said.

Indeed, the American Iron and Steel Institute estimates that 43 percent of US steel consumption goes to the construction industry.

Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of IL said Trump's action was "like dropping a bomb on a flea" and could carry "huge unintended consequences for American manufacturers who depend on imported materials". That includes a "detailed cost analysis" of the impact on the economy, how employment levels were factored into the decision and national security concerns.

The people were not authorized to discuss details in advance and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The US President last night signed an executive order pushing ahead with the 25 per cent levy on steel imports and 10 per cent on aluminium products, but said he would exclude Canada and Mexico until Nafta negotiations have finished. "It is also good news to see some flexibility on others", said David Kotok, chairman and chief investment officer with Cumberland Advisors in Sarasota, Florida.

The tariffs could potentially have an impact in Northeast Ohio.

While carrying a message to Washington to push forward a diplomatic breakthrough over North Korea, South Korea's national security office chief Chung Eui-yong asked USA officials to support Seoul's request for a waiver, a presidential spokesman said.

Announcing the tariffs, Trump said Canada and Mexico would be excluded and other countries could negotiate exemptions, but he singled out Germany for particular criticism.

The administration has argued the move is necessary to protect jobs, and it is true that employment in the steel industry has been down or stagnant.

But the tariffs may be the first foray in the brewing American trade war with Beijing.

President Donald Trump says he'll hold an afternoon meeting on the steel and aluminum industries.

"We are friends, we are allies we work together", EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said.

President George W. Bush imposed tariffs on some steel imports in 2002. He said the idea that Britain would be penalized on national security grounds was "absurd".

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters the exemptions would be made on a "case by case" and "country by country" basis, a reversal from the policy articulated by the White House just days ago that there would be no exemptions from Trump's plan.

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