China stands to gain from Trump's steel tariffs

Mar 06, 2018, 01:23
China stands to gain from Trump's steel tariffs

China's foreign minister tore into the new steel and aluminium tariffs announced by US President Trump, calling them "groundless" in remarks to state media Saturday.

- China says it will "take necessary measures to defend our rights" should Trump go forward with the tariffs.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, White House economic advisor Gary Cohn has privately told confidantes that Trump's move against steel imports could prompt his resignation.

China's Commerce Ministry said Trump's plan would "seriously damage multilateral trade mechanisms represented by the World Trade Organisation and will surely have huge impact on normal worldwide trade order".

The president's full-throated backing of tariffs is in keeping with a campaign pledge to protect American workers from the vagaries of global trade.

President Donald Trump announced Thursday that the U.S. would impose new tariffs on imports on steel and aluminum once a formal order is signed next week.

US President Donald Trump with China's President Xi Jinping.

- Global trade experts say they expect the president's decision will make it easier for other countries to enact tit-for-tat tariffs in the name of national security.

"Trade wars are good, and easy to win", he said on Twitter.

- The European Union vows to hit back with tariffs on American-made motorcycles, bourbon, and denim jeans. "So, while it might effect an individual producer for a little while, overall it's not going to be much more than a rounding error", the commerce secretary said.

Arcelor Mittal, the world's biggest steelmaker with sizeable European and USA operations, said it was assessing the likely impact, while adding governments were right to take a tough approach to unfair trade. The Dow nearly recovered, up 320 points from its Friday bottom.

Other countries can play that game, too; and more might try, now that the United States has set this bad example.

Monday's attacks on Canada and Mexico come two days after Trump singled out Germany, threatening to impose a tax on all European auto imports brought into the United States. "They laugh at what fools our leaders have been".

However, European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen said Trump still has a small chance to avoid a damaging global trade war and asked the U.S. leader to reconsider his aims before he signed them into effect next week. "The president has announced that this will happen this week".

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday called US President Donald Trump's plan for tariffs on steel and aluminum imports "absolutely unacceptable" and warned of serious disruption.

"Gary was here yesterday afternoon, I talked to him in my office several times, so I don't have any reason to think otherwise", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters. "But at this point in time there would be no country exclusions".

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