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Canada seeks exemption to Trump's steel tariffs, vows retaliation

03 March 2018

Dow off 0.6 pct, S&P flat pct, Nasdaq up 0.35 pct (Updates to early afternoon) By Ankur Banerjee and Sruthi Shankar March 2 (Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes recouped some losses on Friday, but were on track to end the week in the red as investors fretted over a possible global trade war following President Donald Trump's promise to impose import tariffs on steel and aluminum.

President Trump is pushing for a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and 10 percent tariff on aluminum. "Whilst we have to resist any urge to mirror such protectionist moves, we must at the same time be clear-eyed and equip ourselves with tools to respond effectively and protect our interests when necessary", said U.K. Steel Head of Policy, Richard Warren.

No one wins a trade war. The U.S. dollar weakened for a second day against a basket of currencies, while equity markets across the U.S., Asia and Europe have declined. "What Trump says and what he does are often two different things".

At the time, the list included not just steel products but also orange juice, apples, sunglasses, photocopiers and other goods.

The stock market fell sharply after the announcement because investors feared that the move was the first of several that could result in escalating disputes in which the United States and its trading partners impose new tariffs.

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Mr. Le Maire vowed a "strong, co-ordinated and united response from the European Union".

That begs the question: Can Canada win a trade war with the U.S.?

One of the biggest risks of the Trump presidency has always been the harm it might do to the US and global economies through a reckless approach to trade.

Mattis, in a memo to Commerce, said USA military requirements for steel and aluminum represent about 3 percent of US production and that the department was "concerned about the negative impact on our key allies" of any tariffs. Trade wars are lost by both sides.

Steel producers in Canada, Brazil, Mexico, South Korea and Turkey rely far more heavily on the U.S. market. European officials are arguing that EU firms would be unfairly punished by any blanket tariffs that emerge. He added that targeted tariffs would be preferable to global quotas or tariffs.

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Worldwide condemnation has greeted the U.S President's Thursday announcement that he plans to impose a 25 per cent tariff on steel imports and 10 per cent on aluminium next week.

"Only last week the Prime Minister and I had the opportunity to raise this matter directly with the President and other senior members of the Trump administration to indicate that Australia's view is that there should be an exemption for Australian steel and aluminum products", stated Minister Ciobo.

The immediate impact on India is likely to be negligible, however, with Reuters reporting Steel Secretary Aruna Sharma saying, "we have only 2 per cent of our exports to United States so no immediate dent". The U.S. measures "overturn the global trade order", Wen Xianjun, vice chairman of the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association, said in a statement.

The same sources said it was not impossible that carve-outs follow, making the measures more palatable to the EU, Canada and South Korea.

Trump justifies his new tariffs by citing national security concerns.

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Canadian steel accounted for 16 percent of US steel imports as of September 2017, according to data from the Commerce Department's International Trade Administration.

Canada seeks exemption to Trump's steel tariffs, vows retaliation