US Tariffs Spark Fears of Trade Conflict in Asia

Casey Dawson
March 12, 2018

The U.S. president argued that "dumping" of cheap imports is eroding U.S manufacturers' ability to survive.

The proclamation instead pointed to economic integration between the U.S., Canada and Mexico, the fact the U.S. also exports steel to both Canada and Mexico, and the three countries' shared commitment to national security and addressing global excess capacity in steel production.

"The misuse of the "national security exception" clause by the U".

"China has been very clever at transshipping products through other countries and dislodging domestic demand in other countries, which causes their producers to dump on us", Mr Ross said.

And relief for Mexican slabs could "embolden other slab re-rollers to advocate for imported substrate exclusions to level the playing field against a clear and present absence of a U.S. merchant carbon slab market", Gibbs wrote.

In comments before the tariffs were confirmed, he said the UK produces "very high value steel, some of which can't be sourced in the United States and will simply push up the price of steel there".

The Trudeau government has been lobbying aggressively for Canada to be excluded from the tariffs, but there have been conflicting signals from the White House about the possibility of any exemptions. Trump's economic adviser, Gary Cohn, resigned last week after Trump announced the new tariffs.

"There will be a lot of high-level discussions as we proceed with this", he said Friday after touring a JetBlue facility in NY to celebrate the company's tax cut bonuses.

"We continue to be of the view that the European Union should be excluded from these measures".

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After meetings with US trade envoy Robert Lighthizer in Brussels, EU and Japanese trade officials said negotiations would need to continue.

The EU has warned that it stands ready to slap "rebalancing" tariffs on about 2.8 billion euros ($3.4 billion) worth of US steel, agricultural and other products, like peanut butter, cranberries and orange juice. A country that offers something in return for an exemption could set a precedent, allowing the White House to make further demands in the future in return for access to the U.S. market, and fracture any sense of unity between capitals from Brussels to Seoul that have roundly criticised the tariffs.

More than 100 members of the US House of Representatives have spoken out against blanket tariffs against steel and aluminum imports.

Any decision on carve outs "would be country-by-country, and it will be based on national security", she said, noting that she was "not aware" of any complaints filed at the World Trade Organization against the tariffs.

On March 6, Trump defended his Tariffs plan saying, "I'm here to protect, and one of the reasons I was elected was I'm protecting our workers, I'm protecting our companies".

"This isn't a victory, it's a threat", said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. "We can not accept that the European Union is divided to different categories", he said on Friday.

Canada's ambassador to Washington dined this week with USA national-security adviser H.R. McMaster; Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, and Transport Minister Marc Garneau all reached out to cabinet counterparts in recent days.

Sasse said he believes there's an impression in the White House that there is a victor and loser in every trade agreement. "If we need to renegotiate, we can do that, but I am committed to free trade agreements with our neighbors". It was the most explicit threat yet from the country in the escalating trade row.

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