Merkel: Europe Will Push Back If Hit With Trade Tariffs
01 May, 2018, 04:56 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
In March, Trump imposed duties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum.
The EU also plans to join a separate WTO dispute against the USA, arguing that the American tariffs violate the WTO's most-favored nation principle, which prevents countries from discriminating between their trading partners.
The Trump administration has made a decision to hold off on imposing most of its tariffs on imported steel and aluminum until at least June 1.
Trump officials initially said there would be no exemptions, sparking an outcry from Europe and also some Republicans on Capitol Hill concerned that the retaliatory measures would hurt home state industries.
If it loses its exemption, the European Union has said it will retaliate with its own tariffs on US goods imported to Europe.
South Korea was given an indefinite exemption in return for a 30% cut in its steel exports to the US.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Trump has not yet made a decision on whether any countries should get extended exemptions on steel and aluminum tariffs.
The European Union's trade commissioner is holding last-ditch talks with the United States today in a bid to gain permanent exemption from the Trump administration's tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.
His cabinet colleague Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Bloomberg that the White House will continue to grant some countries relief from the metals tariffs, but wouldn't name any nations.
President Trump has announced who will be heading to China this week to discuss trade issues.
"Absent any additional presidential proclamation, all tariffs would go into effect at midnight", the official said.
Canada and Mexico, meanwhile, have rejected Trump's suggestion of linking the discussions over metals tariffs to securing the USA better terms in a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement. The EU has threatened to retaliate with duties on iconic American goods such as Harley-Davidson motorcycles and Kentucky bourbon.
Trade relations between China and the United States have deteriorated in recent weeks.
Economists have warned that tariffs could backfire, by raising prices for US businesses and consumers and sparking a backlash against American exports. "We've been having lots of discussions internally, we've been having lots of discussions with our counterparts", he said, adding: "We're addressing these issues real time". Forcing governments to limit shipments of goods violates WTO rules, which prohibit so-called voluntary export restraints.
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