Australia negotiates U.S. tariff exemption, but terms unclear

16 March, 2018, 00:57 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • United States President Donald Trump has announced he will not be imposing steel and aluminium tariffs on Australia

President Donald Trump frequently slammed China for unfair trade practices on the campaign trail.

The White House said in a statement Monday evening that Trudeau and Trump had spoken by phone regarding the steel and aluminum tariff announcement from last week.

Shortly after Trump took office, the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a USA technology think tank whose board includes representatives from top companies such as Apple, Amazon, Cisco, Google, and Intel, called for coordinated worldwide pressure on Beijing.

Trade war fears sent United States stocks diving on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down more than 300 points, or 1.3 percent, shortly after 1600 GMT.

"We are very concerned about the actions taken by China and the dumping of steel and aluminium on the global market", Trudeau said.

Alleged intellectual property theft by China has always been a source of tension between Beijing and Washington.

"We should go back to these talks now". Trade data last week showed exports unexpectedly surged at the fastest pace in three years in February even as trade relations with the United States rapidly deteriorate.

The latest US trade threat, which follows the imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminium last week, overshadowed unexpectedly robust Chinese industrial and investment growth data for the first two months of the year.


Beijing has repeatedly warned it will respond to hostile U.S. trade measures and has launched an anti-dumping investigation into U.S. imports of sorghum and has not ruled out measures on soy beans.

"There are no winners in a trade war, and it would bring disaster to our two countries as well as the rest of the world", Commerce Minister Zhong said.

"We have said many times that China resolutely opposes any kind of unilateral protectionist trade measures", Lu told reporters.

Trudeau said Canada already has "significant barriers" in place to prevent low-priced steel and aluminum from being dumped there, and is prepared to work with Washington to "do even more".

The European Commission, which coordinates trade policy for the 28-nation EU, the world's biggest trading bloc, has said it is ready to impose safeguards, tariffs or quotas to protect its own steel and aluminium industries. "We will look at the impact onJapanese businesses and make a final decision".

US business groups, while uneasy about triggering Chinese retaliation, have increasingly pressed Washington to take action on Beijing's industrial policies, such as market access restrictions and the "Made in China 2025" plan, which aims to supplant foreign technologies with domestic ones.

Asked again about Trump's approach, if the tariffs are a negotiating tactic by Trump, Trudeau again moved past the potential threat.

Malmstrom accused the Trump administration of using trade "to threaten and intimidate" Europeans and using the issue as a "scapegoat".

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