Friday, 22 February, 2019

Ross: US-China Trade Dispute to Be Resolved by Deal or Tariffs

Trump delays decision on steel and aluminium tariffs US postpones decision on steel tariffs
Leonard Rios | 03 May, 2018, 20:38

Trump has often talked about America's trade deficit with China as justification for his tariffs, apparently because he has for decades misunderstood the win-win nature of trade.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to describe internal deliberations.

Canada exported over $12 billion of steel and aluminum to the United States in 2017, with another $3 billion from Mexico.

According to The Telegraph, the U.S.

China remains broadly the US main target, but the steel and aluminium tariffs are part of a wider bid to renegotiate the terms of trade with a number of countries, from close to home with NAFTA to far-flung producers on the other side of the globe. He recently argued on Fox Business News that the tariffs are created to compensate the United States for "robbing our technology blind", adding: "If you allow China to basically capture the industries of the future, we won't have a future".

It's time for Congress to do more than just talk the talk on the steel and aluminum tariffs. Across the borders and overseas, news reports show many countries, mostly longtime allies of the United States, are increasingly becoming frustrated with Trump's threats.

The Department of Commerce notes France and Germany are top exporters of a few steel products, such as stainless steel and pipe and tube.

"If you let everybody back out of the tariff, and you let them out of any kind of quota, how would you ever reduce the imports here?"

In a conference call with journalists, the head of Brazil's steelmakers association, Marco Polo Lopes, called those terms "not that bad". Ross is set to discuss the issue Monday with EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom. SA's aluminium exports to the United States account for 1.6% of total aluminium imports by the US.

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According to the department the exempted countries accounted for 58% of steel imports and 49% of aluminium imports to the U.S. in 2017.

Across the European Union, steel manufacturers exported 5 million tonnes to the United States past year.

European leaders have resisted the idea of a quota.

"I have determined that, in light of the agreed-upon quota and other measures with South Korea, the measures being finalized with Argentina, Australia and Brazil, and the ongoing discussions that may result in further long-term exclusions from the tariff...it is necessary and appropriate, at this time, to maintain the current tariff as it applies to other countries", he said.

Navarro said there will be no further extensions for talks involving Canada, Mexico, the European Union or others.

In her meeting with Trump, Merkel said, she saw little progress in obtaining permanent exemptions.

Steel and aluminium exporters from China, along with other metal-exporting nations such as Japan and India, have been paying the USA tariffs since late March.

The California Apple Commission has already voiced its concern about the impact of China's new 15 percent retaliatory tariffs on US apples, saying it might create over-supply domestically. The Washington trade lawyer has long expressed views that China has failed to live up to obligations that came with joining the World Trade Organization in 2001.

If this tariffs battle escalates into a trade war, many losers will stand out, particularly average workers dependent on their employers' access to products from around the globe.

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