Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Australia Exempt from US Tariffs

PM Malcolm Turnbull's warning: US has 'literally nothing' to gain from Trump's proposed steel tariffs Malcolm Turnbull, Julie Bishop open new talks on Trump tariffs
Orlando Vargas | 11 March, 2018, 06:12

On Thursday, Trump approved a plan to levy a 25 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent on aluminum.

The tariffs carved out an exemption for Canada and Mexico, and allow other nations to argue for similar exceptions. "He is committed to having a very fair and reciprocal military and trade relationship", Mr Trump tweeted.

Mexico and Canada were the only countries officially exempt. "In particular, they pale in comparison to the scale and scope of the protectionist policies of President Ronald Reagan's administration in the 1980s", Rodrik wrote on Friday.

According to the report, Australian Ambassador to Washington Joe Hockey, called Norman on behalf of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, to give Turnbull Trump's personal cell phone number.

Australian steel and aluminium to the United States were worth just over A$400 million a year ago, government data shows.

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"The concern for us is the dislocation of any steel out of North America and any other market", said Mark Vassella, managing director and CEO of BlueScope Steel.

Australia has won favour with the United States for its commitment to military expansion in the region. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference that Japan's steel and aluminum shipments posed no threat to USA national security.

But the Saturday meetings in Brussels, the capital of the European Union, appeared to be inconclusive.

"Steel is steel", Trump said before signing off on the tariffs.

European Union trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom said there was no "immediate clarity on the exact United States procedure for exemption" following a trilateral meeting on Saturday with her American counterpart and Japan's trade minister. "If you don't have steel, you don't have a country".

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