EU, Japan seek clarity from crisis USA trade talks

Mar 12, 2018, 06:32
EU, Japan seek clarity from crisis USA trade talks

The House letter was released on same day White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said during a briefing with reporters that the Section 232 tariffs would contain "potential carve outs" for Canada and Mexico-the United States' North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) partners-and perhaps for other nations as well.

After Trump opened the door, Brazil, Japan, South Korea, Australia and Europe clamored for special treatment, while Chinese producers called on Beijing to retaliate in kind. The stiff tariffs will take effect 15 days from March 8 (U.S. time).

However, he said "real friends" of the U.S. could win waivers from the measures, which come into force after 15 days.

Japan, he said, would stick to World Trade Organization rules in terms of taking measures.

Japan, the United States' top economic and military ally in Asia, was next in line.

The actual formal documents specifically state that Canada and Mexico are a special case, given the continent's shared commitment to mutual security, an integrated defence industry and the shared fight against dumped steel and that the best way to address US concerns - "at least at this time" - is by continuing discussions.

"While we hope that Australia will win exemptions from the latest steel and aluminium tariffs, this would be only a partial victory", Mr Willox said on Friday.

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Minister Hiroshige Seko told a news conference his US counterpart Robert Lighthizer had only explained the schedule and procedure of the USA actions in talks in Brussels. "He is committed to having a very fair and reciprocal military and trade relationship".

Trump made his comments after crunch talks in Brussels between European Union negotiators and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in an effort to defuse a bitter row that many fear could turn into an all-out trade war. "It's going to give us an opportunity and one of the best guys in the administration, Ambassador Robert Lighthizer [the United States trade representative], to negotiate a great deal for this country, and if we get that, then all's good with Canada and Mexico".

European Commissioner Malmstrom, who coordinates policy for the 28-nation EU, the world's biggest trading bloc, said she stood ready to go to the WTO, the global trade arbiter, to impose the bloc's own safeguards within 90 days.

The target of Trump's ire is China, whose capacity expansions have helped add to global surpluses of steel. Later, starting from the heavy tax penalty from the European Union wing to Apple in response to the billions of dollars of emissions fees for the German automotive giants, the USA included Britain in the climbing "trade wars" between the US and the EU. The tariffs would "seriously impact the normal order of global trade", the Ministry of Commerce said.

The EU exports around five billion euros (RM24 billion) worth of steel and a billion euros worth of aluminum to the USA each year, and the European Commission, the bloc's executive arm, estimates Trump's tariffs could cost some 2.8 billion euros. Trump has championed coal exports as demand from power firms at home weakens.

Thai economist Wisarn Pupphavesa, a senior adviser to the Thai economic think tank, the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI), called the tariff aiming to protect USA industry a "very bad situation".

"He and I have a good relationship because we wrestle a lot and he knows where I stand", Sasse told The World-Herald. He said only that the reprieve remains in place for now, and that NAFTA is important to economic and national security.