Trump orders tariffs on steel, aluminum imports

President Trump signed proclamations at the White House Thursday that establish new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports

Opponents of the tariffs spent Thursday engaged in last-minute lobbying to blunt the impact.

President Trump has entered into a trade war with his own party, announcing sweeping - but flexible - tariffs on steel and aluminum importers while keeping Republican lawmakers who opposed the move in the dark about the plan's details until just before they were announced. He suggested Australia and "other countries" might also be spared, a shift that could soften the worldwide blow amid threats of retaliation by trading partners.

Being forced to rule on the Trump tariffs "would put the WTO in a tough spot", DeBusk says.

President Donald Trump has found an unlikely supporter in his contentious effort to raise tariffs on imported steel - that supporter is Ohio's top ranking Democrat.

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. While the WTO does not have the power to overturn and nullify the tariffs, if the WTO finds that the tariffs are not consistent with US obligations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), and the President refuses to revise the tariffs, the WTO could allow complaining countries to levy costly retaliatory tariffs on USA goods.

By offering countries a way to escape the tariffs, Trump might have eased the risk of a destructive trade war. Trump was still hearing last-minute pleas from opponents of the tariff plan, and White House officials said they couldn't predict how the day would shake out. "We have to protect & build our Steel and Aluminum Industries while at the same time showing great flexibility and cooperation toward those that are real friends and treat us fairly on both trade and the military".

But, before we start dancing in the street in jubilation, let's remember that Trump indicated that one of the main reasons for the exemption was that NAFTA renegotiations are still ongoing.

Trump predicted the former Goldman Sachs executive would eventually return to his administration. They will likely result in higher prices for all steel, and are expected to trigger a series of WTO complaints and retaliatory actions by USA trading partners. Mnuchin said that the secretary of commerce is entitled to issue waivers for specific products, while only the president can exempt entire nations. "We're not trying to blow up the world".

Here's a closer look at what Trump's action does, how it would work and whether it's likely to succeed.

US steel and aluminum producers - and their counterparts around the world - have been hammered by overproduction by China. And while tariffs that raise primary metal prices may increase production of those metals, they make the rest of USA manufacturing less competitive.

"Many members said they had fears of tit-for-tat retaliation which could spiral out of control", the trade official told reporters.

Referring to NAFTA negotiating with Mexico and Canada, he said:?I think we are doing quite well.? That scenario, Tom Donohue said, would endanger the economic momentum from the GOP tax cuts and Trump's rollback of regulations. "So they charge us 50, we would charge them 50", Trump said in his remarks before signing the two proclamations.

Trump ordered a probe into whether steel imports threaten USA national security last April.

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