Mnuchin: Trump May Exempt More Countries from Tariffs

President Trump signed proclamations at the White House Thursday that establish new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports

President Trump signed proclamations at the White House Thursday that establish new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports

Opponents of the tariffs spent Thursday engaged in last-minute lobbying to blunt the impact.

Photo President Trump spoke on Thursday before signing orders for tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. "This overhang of excess capacity means that US steel producers, for the foreseeable future, will face increasing competition from imported steel as other countries export more steel to the United States to bolster their own economic objectives and offset loss of markets to Chinese steel exports".

"We are disappointed, to say the least, that the Trump administration would impose a potentially debilitating tariff on aluminium imports from the Kitimat smelter", said O'Driscoll. He reiterated that he would levy tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum. Even if the WTO panel rules after that time that Trump's tariffs are illegal, Trump administration officials indicated previous year that they may not care that much. Metal-consuming companies in the United States may also petition the Trump administration for carve-outs. Those warnings intensified fears of a destructive tit-for-tat trade war - especially when Trump threatened to respond to European sanctions with further USA tariffs on auto imports from Europe.

The fight over tariffs comes amid intense turmoil in the West Wing, which has seen waves of departures and negative news stories that have left Trump increasingly isolated in the Oval Office, according to two senior officials speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal thinking. But they've stalled over tough USA demands, including the administration's insistence that more auto production be shifted to America.

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"While the tariffs President Trump plans do not appear to apply to Mexico and Canada for now, the threat is real".

The looming departure of White House economic adviser Gary Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs executive who has opposed the promised tariffs, set off anxiety among business leaders and investors anxious about a potential trade war. "Their excess capacity alone exceeds the total USA steel-making capacity".

At the White House, officials were working to include language in the tariffs that would give Trump the flexibility to approve exemptions for certain countries.

Mnuchin also said the Commerce Department will provide details in the next 10 days about specific products that could be exempt from the tariffs.

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"We can expect retaliatory measures elsewhere in the world that will destabilize market equilibrium".

Here's a closer look at what Trump's action does, how it would work and whether it's likely to succeed. Although the measure is created to hit China, its main impact will be on U. S. economy. But the Republican president showed no sign of backing down, reaffirming his belief the United States could win any trade war since it was running such a large trade deficit with so many countries.

"Many members said they had fears of tit-for-tat retaliation which could spiral out of control", the trade official told reporters.

The president says he will exempt Canada and Mexico as "a special case" while negotiating for changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement. "There's no tax", he said. The tariffs take effect in two weeks.

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The announcement came approximately two weeks after the Secretary of Commerce released reports pursuant to Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 finding that the quantities and circumstances of steel and aluminum imports threaten to impair US national security.

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