Trump tariffs a self-inflicted wound

US President Donald Trump

Trump said he would temporarily exempt Canada and Mexico from global steel and aluminium tariffs while the three countries negotiate a new NAFTA deal.

A China-based business source with knowledge of discussion among senior European officials said there had been a "clear effort" by the USA government over the past six months to introduce a coordinated approach to Chinese industrial policy, but that Trump's proposed metals tariffs under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 had undermined support from Europe. One recommendation that was floated is restricting imports of steel and aluminum to 63 per cent of 2017 levels. He said "This week, I will travel across Canada to meet with the workers and businesses at the heart of our country's world-class steel and aluminum industries". Critics called it absurd to claim that Canadian imports threatened US national security.

Other countries, too, could be spared, the president said, if they can convince the administration that their steel and aluminum exports don't threaten American industry.

Korean steelmakers import Chinese products to reprocess and re-export to the US.

Chinese leaders have threatened in the past to retaliate against raised trade barriers, but have yet to take direct action following Trump's announcement.

Trump's administration has said the United States mistakenly supported China's membership in the World Trade Organization in 2001 on terms that have failed to force Beijing to open its economy. If they drop their horrific barriers & tariffs on USA products going in, we will likewise drop ours.

He said he and Trump also "welcomed and encouraged the progress being made on negotiation of the renewed North American Free Trade Agreement" and discussed an opioid crisis affecting both nations.

Malmstroem held fruitless talks in Brussels on Saturday with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer aimed at defusing the row and avoiding an all-out trade war.

We urge the administration to reconsider this action and continue investigating the impact of steel and aluminum tariffs on the USA economy and steel-consuming sectors downstream.

Under World Trade Organisation rules, such counter-measures have to be in place within 90 days of the U.S. tariffs entering force.

Reckitt's dividend yield of 2.8 percent and P&G's of 3.4 percent is similar to the 2.9 percent on US 10-year government bonds, though these would need to be closer to high-yield debt to tempt Stephen Yiu, chief investment officer at London-based Blue Whale Capital LLP.

And that doesn't factor in the costs borne from retaliation taken by foreign partners against unrelated USA industries. And we urge the USA government to do the right thing to protect free trade and to avoid using these trade protectionist measures against trading partners in the world.

"The global steel industry is huge and politically powerful, but it accounts for less than two per cent of world trade and only a very small fraction of global gross domestic product (GDP)", said Andrew Kenningham, economist at research firm Capital Economics in a note.



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