Mnuchin: US in talks with countries seeking tariff exemptions

Reuters

In announcing a 25 per cent tariff on steel and 10 per cent levy on aluminum Thursday, the USA president exempted Canada and Mexico "at least at this time" and cited close ties between the three nations. And yet they send their cars and everything else back into the US, he said.

The lobbying found a mostly receptive audience: the US military strongly resisted tariffs against allies and 107 congressional Republicans released a letter this week to express alarm over the move. "The massive tax cuts, and all of the deregulation has really kicked us into gear", he said.

Seko did not go into what conditions might allow Japan to evade tariffs and, asked if Lighthizer had brought up the US trade deficit with Japan, Seko said no.

A Mexican government official also denied that any concessions were offered to Washington.

After months of frantic lobbying, diplomatic arm-twisting and heated debates within his own administration, Trump made good on his tariff threat at the White House, surrounded by steelworkers.

The NAFTA is a deal signed by Canada, Mexico, and the US, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America. "So we are stumbling into a war, and this of course would be a great danger to the worldwide economy", said German MP Norbert Röttgen.

Trump danced around the question of whether the tariff threat will be used to bully Canada and Mexico at the NAFTA bargaining table. Adding new elements to the negotiations to create wiggle room on big decisions was a Trump tactic familiar to David Bozell, a supporter of the president.

Freeland notes the written presidential proclamation putting them in place does not.

This progress was "unexpected" and a source of cautious optimism on solving the tariff row, an European Union official said on condition of anonymity. "We didn't know exactly what the exclusion was until it got announced", Gerard, who is Canadian, told Reuters.

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"If we don't make the deal on NAFTA, and if we terminate NAFTA ... we'll start all over again".

As such Mr. Trump asserted that he is going ahead with his plans to sign the executive order to impose import tariffs on steel and aluminum.

"But I have to work on trade deals". Trudeau also spoke on Thursday with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, prominent Republican critics of the tariffs, the prime minister's office said.

But Fast also had some praise for Trump.

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 USA concerns - "at least at this time" - is by continuing discussions.

Canada is the No. 1 seller of both steel and aluminum to the U.S.

Australian steel and aluminum exports to the United States were worth just over A$400 million ($314 million) previous year, government data showed.

US President Donald Trump on Friday said he has spoken with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and that they are working on an agreement so Australia will not be subject to US tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Trump pushed back as he visited western Pennsylvania, in the heart of U.S. steel country, where he boasted of his tariffs and denounced low-quality imports.

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