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Europe, Japan Meet Face-to-Face with U.S. over Trump's Tariffs

12 March 2018

There's no success like failure, Bob Dylan once observed.

Trump said Canada and Mexico are exempt for now, and other countries could be spared if they can convince the administration that their steel and aluminum exports don't threaten American jobs and industry.

"I said, 'Good, open up the barriers and get rid of your tariffs, and if you don't do that, we're gonna tax Mercedes-Benz, we're gonna tax BMW'".

Despite the ongoing plans to keep negotiating, a group of seven US representatives - five Democrats and two Republicans - still seemed uneasy about NAFTA's future.

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In signing the order last week, the President made it clear that if Canada and Mexico made concessions during the NFTA negotiations, they would be exempted from the tariffs.

President Trump is playing with fire.

"When you look at the overall situation it does look very positive for our start on Monday", Commonwealth Securities chief economist said on Sunday. First, he's getting NAFTA and trade deficits wrong. "It's a level playing field and, in fact, the US has a large trade surplus with Australia". Canada and Mexico, both members of the North American Free Trade Agreement, also warned that they would take strong countermeasures. This move has been criticised by major trading partners of The States. It "could really result in retaliatory actions by our trade partners and it just injects uncertainty to an economy that was doing quite well". Free Trade Agreement as well as talks on cost-sharing for the US military presence.

Between 2000 and 2016, the US trade balance with its FTA partners (including Mexico) has improved by $30 billion while the trade deficit with other countries has ballooned. According to a Morgan Stanley report, India exports less than 1% of its steel produced to the United States which accounts for 4% of the country's total exports. The country's beef producers will be much better off because now imported meat is as much as 20 percent more expensive, meaning domestic companies will be able to sell more rib-eyes and raise their prices.

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That leads to our third point: Leaving NAFTA and other trade agreements would worsen the US trade deficit.

Germany has denounced moves by President Donald Trump to impose tariffs on USA metal imports.

The last time a president slapped tariffs on steel offers an illuminating lesson - and cautionary tale - for Trump's new policy. But the bigger problem is the US protectionist move is not confined to steel and aluminum. I had a frank discussion with the USA side about the serious pending issue of steel/aluminium tariffs. He'll likely need to carry those states again if he hopes to win re-election in 2020. Brussels insists that the real problem is a glut of steel on worldwide markets. There will be consequences, though, and USA companies that buy steel to make lawn mowers, hand tools and other products will feel the impact.

On the BBC's Marr Show the British prime minister Theresa May was pressurised to condemn President Trump's actions, which she sidestepped, but later she put in a call to the White House appealing for the administration's proposed tariff increases to be avoided. As Dylan continued his lyrics of Love Minus Zero: "Failure's no success at all". Other countries will also be allowed to apply for exemptions to the new taxes of 25% on imported steel and 10% on imported aluminum.

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Europe, Japan Meet Face-to-Face with U.S. over Trump's Tariffs