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China's foreign minister slams Trump tariffs

06 March 2018

"We understand the Trump administration's efforts to reduce the United States trade deficits, but it has to reconsider the intensifying import restrictions on South Korean steel products", GS Group Chairman Huh Chang-soo, who heads the FKI, said in the letter.

These blanket tariffs are the most comprehensive of the recommendations by the U.S. Commerce Department, compared to the targeted levies and quotas against specific countries that were overruled by an instinctively protectionist President.

The comments came as US, Mexican and Canadian trade officials were in Mexico City for the final day of the seventh round of talks aimed at modernizing and modifying the trade pact, talks that already had hit serious roadblocks over US demands. Stocks across the globe rose on Monday, however, after four days in decline as investors saw the tariff threats as a US negotiating tactic and not a done deal and as pressure grew on Trump to back off.

Jean Simard, president of the Aluminium Association of Canada, said the United States's "contemptuous" attitude would make the country uncompetitive by driving up the prices of its products.

"The total amount of tariffs we're putting on is about $9 billion a year".

Trump administration officials frequently refer to the deficit in goods alone, excluding the offset from dominant USA services exports of things like banking and insurance.

"The American action to put sanctions on other countries' reasonable steel and aluminum exports in the name of harming national security is groundless", minister Wang Yi said.

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Trade politics often cut along regional, rather than ideological, lines, as politicians reflect the interests of the hometown industries and workers.

Viraj Patel, foreign exchange strategist at ING, said: "The risks of some sort of "global trade war" taking place has certainly increased".

Still, he says that the tariff is "very, very disappointing" and an election promise he thought Trump wouldn't deliver on.

United States manufacturers would also have enhanced pricing powers as the cost of foreign imports would become prohibitive for those buying steel.

The steel industry has pointed to Australia's existing anti-dumping measures as a way to combat the fallout from Donald Trump's proposed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, while the Coalition and Labor have raised the prospect of direct trade retaliation.

Over the weekend, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker told German television that "Harley-Davidson motorcycles, bourbon and blue jeans - Levis" were among items on a draft list of U.S. goods to be taxed if Mr Trump persisted with his tariff plan.

In response on Saturday, Trump threatened European automakers with a tax on imports if the European Union retaliates against the U.S.

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Trump has spoken to world leaders about the planned tariff hikes but has given no indication he would allow exemptions, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said.

By taking on Mr Trump's remarks directly, Mr Azevedo is signalling a tougher stance toward the U.S. leader.

Due to the high level of integration of the Canada-US steel industries, he added, "these proposals are going to hurt them every bit as much as they will hurt us".

"This is a hostile act to all of them", he said. "Millions of people addicted and dying".

However, much of the opioids that have flooded into American households is in the form of prescription drugs manufactured by U.S. pharmaceutical companies.

On Monday, the ABC reported that Trump had "emphatically promised" to exempt Australian steel and aluminium products from any tariffs when he met with Turnbull mid-way through a year ago, and the promise was witnessed by the U.S. treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, the USA commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, the White House chief economics adviser, Gary Cohn, Australia's finance minister, Mathias Cormann, and Australia's deputy secretary of the department of prime minister and cabinet, David Gruen. "Dealing with drug trafficking is a shared responsibility between Mexico and the USA", he said.

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China's foreign minister slams Trump tariffs