Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Ag could see impact of steel, aluminum tariffs

Harley-Davidson bikes could be in the firing line in trade war Harley-Davidson bikes could be in the firing line in trade war
Melinda Barton | 14 March, 2018, 16:24

- President Donald Trump pressed ahead with the imposition of 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent for aluminum on Thursday but exempted Canada and Mexico, backtracking from earlier pledges of tariffs on all countries.

Along with Netanyahu, Trump reiterated that the United States "did a bad business deal" with the NAFTA, in force since 1994.

He suggested in an earlier meeting with his Cabinet that Australia and "other countries" might be spared, a shift that could soften the worldwide blow amid threats of retaliation by trading partners. "Border trade empowers New Mexico's economy, and any change of our relationship with Mexico - because of tariffs or the renegotiation of NAFTA - must protect the thousands of working New Mexicans whose livelihoods depend on stable trade relations with Mexico".

"A trade war is going to cost our industry jobs and money".

"I think tariffs ought to be used in a very selective way", U.S. Sen. Much as Mexico's trade surplus with the USA has been growing, it is not because the country hones Trump-like trade mercantilism ("exports good, imports bad"), takes advantage of the US or generally runs a big trade surplus with the world. Its rules allow countries to determine their own national security threats and protect vital national industries.

"The loss of exports to the US, combined with an expected massive import surge in the European Union, could cost tens of thousands of jobs in the European Union steel industry and related sectors", said Axel Eggert, head of steel association EUROFER.

Mexican national steel association Canacero has welcomed the decision by the United States government to temporarily exclude Mexico-origin steel from its new Section 232 import tariffs, but has voiced concerns about the growth of redirected import flows.

But business experts, including Paul Isely, associate dean for the Grand Valley State University Seidman College of Business, said the tariffs will also drive up the cost of the products - not just overseas, but also in the United States. "I just want fairness". White House economic adviser Gary Cohn is summoning executives from USA companies that depend on the metals to meet this week with Trump to try to persuade him to blunt or halt the tariffs announced last week, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Some products under consideration are largely produced in constituencies controlled by Trump's Republican Party.

US steel executives were cheering the president's move at the White House on Thursday, but even their industry will pay a price in the long run. And Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin called the tariffs "a very risky action" that could put agricultural and manufacturing jobs at risk.

"Tariffs won't start a trade war, there's 435 of them in place today to fight trade cheaters".

The decision cost Mr Trump his top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, whose free trade views clashed with the protectionist move.

"To the extent that we're successful in re-negotiating NAFTA, those tariffs won't apply to Mexico and Canada".

Philip Levy, a former trade adviser in President George W. Bush's administration, told AP that the flaw in Trump basing his tariffs on national security was that military allies could ask to be excluded, undermining the president's stated goal of protecting domestic steel and aluminum mill jobs.

Stocks ended the day higher after the announcement, with investors relieved by the carved out exceptions for key allies. He invited some of the workers to speak from the presidential podium, and several said that excessive "dumping" of foreign steel and aluminum had negatively affected their jobs and families.

She said the tariffs were an affront to close partners of the United States such as the European Union and Germany.

Trump called the "aggressive" foreign trade practices an "assault on our country".