Thursday, 21 June, 2018

US tariffs: Tata Steel calls for 'protection measures'

Steel pipes to be exported are seen at a port in Lianyungang Jiangsu province Steel pipes to be exported are seen at a port in Lianyungang Jiangsu province
Ebony Burgess | 01 June, 2018, 20:30

Economists are of the view that tariffs on steel and aluminium imports could help local producers of the metals by making foreign products more expensive, however, they might not be beneficial to the U.S. manufacturers. The measures already announced would "take effect on July 1, 2018 and will remain in place until the USA eliminates its trade-restrictive measures against Canada".

"What they can do, we are able to do exactly the same", Juncker said.

The United States on Friday imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum from the European Union, Canada and Mexico, a move that the Trump administration has justified on national security grounds.

The decision angered the three key trading partners.

The White House defended the move by invoking national security as it stated excessive levels of aluminum and steel imports threatened to impair the security of the United States.

EU, Canada and Mexico also draw up retaliatory measures to Washington's stinging steel and aluminium duties.

President Donald Trump had announced in March to impose an import tariff of 25 per cent on steel and 15 per cent on aluminum, based on addressing the perceived threat to national security.

Meanwhile, Canada - the largest supplier of steel to the U.S. - has announced tariffs on United States imports of metals and other products such as whisky and orange juice.

The United States will be slapping tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum effective midnight tonight.

Amid fears the tariffs will deal a huge blow to the struggling UK steel industry, some political figures and prominent UK journalists have flocked to Twitter to condemn the Brexiteers for putting the UK at risk of being "eaten alive" by trade tariffs once it leaves the EU.

"It's a sad day for global trade", said the economy secretary today, describing the United States' announcement of metal tariffs against its trade partners as "completely incomprehensible".

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Australian delegations, headed by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop, have aggressively lobbied the White House in recent months to secure the exemption.

Canada and Mexico, embroiled in talks with the U.S. to modernise the North American Free Trade Agreement, responded swiftly.

The European Union should take measures to shield the European steel market from a flood of cheap imports seeking a new destination as the United States impose tariffs on steel, the Dutch arm of Tata Steel said on Thursday.

"The European Union measures will be reasonable, proportionate and in full compliance with WTO rules and obligations", Federica Mogherini, the E.U.'s foreign policy chief, told reporters Friday morning.

The administration is taking the action under a relatively obscure USA trade law meant to protect national security.

"It is a sad day for worldwide trade", Guajardo said.

The next question would be: how will the (US) President (Donald Trump) react?

EU members have given broad support to a European Commission plan to set duties on 2.8 billion euros (S$4.4 billion) of U.S. exports if Washington ends tariff exemptions.

Ross himself heads to Beijing on Friday where he will attempt to get firm deals to export more USA goods in a bid to cut America's US$375 billion (S$502 billion) trade deficit with China.

Mexico said it would apply penalties to blueberries, pork bellies, grapes and certain types of steel. "This is not the way we do business, and certainly not between longstanding partners, friends and allies", she said in a statement.

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