Trump announces steel tariffs amid mounting global dissent

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks to the media after a news conference during the National People's Congress in Beijing

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks to the media after a news conference during the National People's Congress in Beijing

WASHINGTONPresident Donald Trump's decision to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports drew rare bipartisan criticism from lawmakers, who warned the move could trigger a transatlantic trade war and hurt USA companies. Canada and Mexico will be temporarily exempted, but could still be hit with tariffs later if they and the United States fail to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The tariffs will go into effect in 15 days and include exemptions for Canada and Mexico. NAFTA talks are expected to resume early next month. It's really an assault on our country.

He said: "We will, of course, be looking to see how we can maximise the UK's case for exemption under these particular circumstances".

Trump announced on Thursday that he's slapping a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum.

"The US pursues trade protectionism", said the China Iron & Steel Association, an industry group, in a statement. "I just want fairness".

That U.S. Steel plant is in Granite City, Illinois, which is near St. Louis.

"We urge the administration to take this risk seriously", Donohue said. Mr Trump has told associates the tariffs could be helpful to the GOP cause in the election in the heart of steel country. "This process will be managed by the Department of Commerce in consultation with other federal agencies", it said.

Seko said Japan's steel exports to the United States, used for automobile manufacturing, are "contributing greatly to the USA industry and (the creation of) jobs". Only Missouri, Louisiana and CT had a higher share.

Cities could face similar problems if they are heavily dependent on exports or if their economies rely on cheaper steel and aluminum prices.

He also faced continued criticism from his Republican party, most notably House Speaker Paul Ryan who continued to lament Trump's move.

Democrats, including several members of Maryland's mostly Democratic congressional delegation, have also opposed it. "A fraction of one cent isn't going to change life".

Arguing that tariffs make American businesses less competitive and USA consumers poorer, the Republican lawmakers stressed that any levies imposed should seek "to address specific distortions caused by unfair trade practices in a targeted way".

He suggested at a Cabinet meeting that Australia and "other countries" might be spared, a shift that could soften the blow amid threats of retaliation.

"We have a very close relationship with Australia, we have a trade surplus with Australia, great country, long term partner, we'll be doing something with them", he said.

Canada and Mexico have objected to tying the tariff issue to NAFTA, as it essentially stacks the deck in America's favor.

Several Republicans and White House Economic Adviser Gary Cohn, however, have raised concerns about instituting such stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway said Thursday on the Fox News Channel that 'the president has called a meeting today at 3:30.

But Trump took aim at Germany - the biggest economy in the European Union trade bloc - as a bad actor likely to face tariffs. He pointed to the store's many products that rely on steel and aluminum.

Sen. Orrin Hatch told reporters he thought Congress could stop the tariffs from being implemented.

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