How Trump is right and wrong on trade and tariffs

Trudeau Hamilton 20180313

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with workers during a visit to Stelco Hamilton Works in Hamilton on Tuesday

Other trade partners, including Japan and China, have also voiced anger and pledged retaliation if the U.S. tariffs are enacted as expected on March 23.

These agreements cover agriculture, application of sanitary and phytosanitary measures and a host of other details.Other agreements have been made between specific countries, like those the USA has between Israel (1985), Canada and Mexico (NAFTA, 1994), Jordan (2001), Australia (2004), Chile (2004), Singapore (2004), Bahrain (2006), Morocco (2006), Oman (2006), Peru (2007), the Dominican Republic (2007), Panama (2011), Colombia (2011) and South Korea (2011), as listed by Wikipedia.

"I think the overall idea (with the tariff) is to have a better position in the U.S.", CSI President and CEO Marcelo Botelho Rodrigues told a gathering of The Press-Enterprise editorial board Friday, March 9. Yet most trade spats end up without that kind of damage, and most in the survey were hopeful.

Trump signed proclamations last week imposing a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum. WTO rules allow a country to set tariffs for national security reasons, though it has so far never ruled on a case when that exception was invoked.

"Our factories were left to rot and to rust all over the place".

A senior Trump administration official told Reuters these steep tariffs against China are likely "in the very near future".

The president of the Canadian Steel Producers Association says Canada may be off the hook for now from American steel and aluminum tariffs but it is still at risk from a glut of foreign steel.

Steel and aluminum, along with coal, glass and solar panels, are among many Chinese industries that mushroomed until supply vastly outstripped demand.

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Whiskey and other previously reported products from the list such as motorcycles have sparked speculation that the European Union was targeting districts from congressional leaders such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's Kentucky and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan's Wisconsin, where Harley-Davidsons are made. The tariffs "risk alienating key worldwide partners that contribute to our ability to defend our nation and maintain global stability", the letter said.

"We are close allies of the USA and continue to insist that the EU should be excluded (from the tariffs)", said Brivio, before adding, "the format for further discussions is still pending", but the European Union will request more information as there will be contacts "at various levels during the week".

"If they block our ability to import (slabs), or make it economically unfeasible, we are in bad luck", Rodrigues said.

Rodrigues stopped short of saying CSI would have to close if the slab tariffs remain. Trump jokingly added that "maybe we will give that a shot someday", the line that got the most attention.

By the time China began flooding the world with cheap goods, the damage to Canadian manufacturers had already been done. But we still have to watch the responses from the nations that are subject to the new action. "And that's OK. That's the cost of doing business".

After a long-scheduled weekend meeting with U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer, Malmstrom used another bit of neat diplomatese - she described her discussions with Lighthizer as "frank". "It's this additional burden that we're not so prepared for". The US makes a lot of internationally tradeable products that use steel - aircraft, autos, appliances and industrial machinery.

A second person, an industry lobbyist in Washington who is familiar with the administration's thinking, said the process was being led by Peter Navarro, an avowed protectionist, who has accused American companies of conniving with the Chinese state, and by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who also favors tariffs as a tool.

"We're not here to play political games and try to be experts in what the government ought to do", Guge said.

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