White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah told reporters that Trump's goal is to implement free, fair, and reciprocal trade agreements with countries to ensure that American products and American exports are given as much access as their products and their imports into the US.
China made further promises to protect the intellectual property of foreigners investing in its economy, addressing a long-standing grievance as US President Donald Trump plans new tariffs aimed at Beijing.
The business groups wrote a letter to Trump last Sunday acknowledging "serious concerns" regarding what they described as China's theft of trade secrets and other practices and policies, but they urged a measured response that avoided tariffs.
A delayed approach could allow time for negotiations with Beijing to try to resolve trade issues related to the administration's "Section 301" probe into China's intellectual property practices before tariffs take effect. A trade war would risk putting the global economy on the wrong path and although it might not lead to a financial crisis, it would be seen as a strong negative for global growth.
"The imposition of sweeping tariffs would trigger a chain reaction of negative consequences for the USA economy, provoking retaliation; stifling U.S. agriculture, goods, and services exports; and raising costs for businesses and consumers", reads the letter, dated Sunday.
The economists expect the tariffs to result in a small decrease in U.S.jobs, a minor increase in inflation and a negligible impact on economic growth. In 2017 alone, USA footwear companies and US consumers paid almost $3 billion in these hidden taxes.
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill, who have largely been shut out of administration deliberations, fear tariffs would stunt economic benefits in the USA that could be stemming from the GOP tax cuts.
The administration has announced initial exemptions for major suppliers including Canada and Mexico.
Because the issue involves significant US military and foreign affairs functions, the usual comment period on a proposed rule was waived, according to the document. The EU estimates $3.4 billion worth of import taxes would be collected if they chose to enforce their own trade tariff retaliation. "Tariffs are taxes - lower is better, zero is the best". Trump said the Chinese government had forced USA companies to transfer their intellectual property to China as a cost of doing business there.
But any United States individual or organization may object to the exemption setting up a battle between domestic steel and aluminum producers that could benefit from the protective tariffs and companies that rely on imports.
Trump is considering adjustments but appears undeterred on trade.
"I want to emphasize that opening needs to be a two-way track, just as it takes paddling on both sides for a boat to move forward", he said. Trump said the levies were necessary for national security reasons and to stop the foreign "assault "on the US".
The decision to exempt Egypt from the new tariffs would likely be a "political" one, Al-Marakby said.
Trade Minister Tarek Kabil said recently that steel exports did not represent more than six per cent of Egypt's total exports, and that the USA share did not exceed three per cent of these.