United States tariff exemption nears end

United States tariff exemption nears end

United States tariff exemption nears end

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Washington would allow the European Union exemption to expire, after weeks of talks failed to yield a compromise, such as a quota arrangement.

"Those talks are taking longer than we had hoped".

USA tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from allies in Europe and North America are "disappointing" and "absurd", the United Kingdom trade secretary says. "Sorry, it's time for a change", said Trump.

Earlier this week, the administration also announced additional tariffs on China in an effort to combat the theft of USA intellectual property and technology. European leaders also vowed to proceed with a complaint to the World Trade Organization.

The Trump administration has given permanent metals tariff exemptions to several countries including Australia, Argentina and South Korea, but in each case set import quotas.

In response, Chrystia Freeland, Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that as the number one customer of American steel, "Canada would view any trade restrictions on Canadian steel and aluminum as absolutely unacceptable".

While shares of Canadian steel firms headed lower, their USA counterparts got an initial boost before giving back some of their initial gains.

During a speech in Brussels, Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, promised to announce retaliatory sanctions later on Thursday.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said in a statement late Wednesday that Canada has expanded the scope of its country of origin marking regime for steel and aluminum products to better determine where they come from.

Shares of American steel companies Steel Dynamics, AK Steel and US Steel gained between 3.4 percent and 7.4 percent and aluminum producer Alcoa surged 3.4 percent.

This marks a big step closer to a global trade war.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the president acted on national security grounds, seeing a rising tide of imports as a threat to the domestic metals industry.

The Trump administration ratcheted up the brinkmanship Thursday by announcing new duties on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico - after failing to reach deals with them to address national security concerns related to the imports.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the European Union would give a "smart, determined and jointly agreed" response to new USA tariffs that she said would break World Trade Organization rules.

"This is dumb. Europe, Canada, and Mexico are not China, and you don't treat allies the same way you treat opponents", said Sen.

The European Commission tweeted that the tariffs represented "protectionism, pure and simple".

The steel and aluminum levies and auto-import probe could play well with Trump voters in Rust Belt states in the lead-up to congressional midterms in November. She said if there were no exemptions, "We will respond in an intelligent, decisive and joint way".

Malmström added the EU's response will be "proportionate and in accordance with WTO rules", and the "US measures clearly go against agreed global rules".

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