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China minister says trade war with US would be 'disastrous'

12 Marcha 2018, 02:17 | Bibiana Flor

"No immediate clarity on the exact U.S. procedure for exemption however", Malmstrom tweeted after a trilateral meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Japanese Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko in Brussels.

In an attempt to rectify the United States' trade deficit, President Trump announced last week that he plans to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports.

"China urges the U.S.to respect the authority of the multilateral trade system, and repeal the measures as soon as possible", it said.

This progress was "unexpected" and a source of cautious optimism on solving the tariff row, an EU official said on condition of anonymity.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the U.S. wants to negotiate exemptions for steel and aluminum tariffs before they take effect in two weeks as pressure grows from allies who are threatening retaliation if the duties are applied to them.

Malmstrom said Friday in Brussels, "We hope that we can get confirmation that the EU is excluded from this". "It is time to halt the damage", Ross wrote. "We want to make sure that for those who are looking to take advantage of American markets that we have the same opportunities in their markets".

Analysts say the Trump tariffs will continue to weigh on local steelmakers as they are heavily dependent on exports to countries such as the United States.

US steel production is off from its highs in the 1970s, but the amount of raw steel produced has remained relatively range-bound since 1983.

Complicating matters, Trump indicated that the sparing of Australia was linked to an unspecified "security agreement" outside of trade policy.

This morning on ABC TV's Insiders, Trade Minister Steven Ciobo said the world faced "choppy waters" over trade and hinted that Australia may support World Trade Organisation action by other nations against the US tariff plan, saying Australia would "practise what we preach on free trade".

The United States and EU previously sought to level the playing field with targeted tariffs. The White House said Trump will consider exempting other U.S. allies on a case-by-case basis.

Katainen said the EU could not address the issue because each of its 28 members set their own defense budgets.

In Brussels, the capital of the European Union, Saturday's meetings appeared inconclusive.

Meanwhile, the European Union said it hoped, like Canada and Mexico, to be exempted from U.S. tariffs, or that it could iron out difference with the U.S.at the World Trade Organization. "It undermines the benefits that the new tax law provides and runs counter to our goal of advancing pro-growth trade policies that will keep America competitive in the 21st century global economy", Hatch said in a statement. "He is committed to having a very fair and reciprocal military and trade relationship".

China's steel and metals associations urged the government to retaliate, citing imports from the US ranging from stainless steel to coal, agricultural products and electronics. Brazil, South Korea and Mexico are the next largest exporters of steel to the US.



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