Donald Trump increases tariffs on metal imports; trade war on anvil?

Donald Trump increases tariffs on metal imports; trade war on anvil?
U.S. President Donald Trump is after signing a proclamation to establish tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 8, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Washington D.C. [USA]: United States President Donald Trump has signed a proclamation that imposes new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, claiming the revised tariff plans have been introduced to stop “assault on our country”.

According to The Guardian, Trump on Thursday said he had to act to stop the “decimation of entire communities” and insisted there would be a very fair process as the administration would use the next 15 days to negotiate exemptions with allies, including neighbours Canada and Mexico.

The new order will see a 25% tariff on imports of steel and a 10% tariff on aluminum. This might potentially have huge implications on the international trade front, with many experts predicting it will adversely affect oil prices.

The move, which has already garnered a lot of criticism from China and Europe, has not gone down well with Trump’s party members as over 100 Republican House members signed a letter expressing concerns about the damage the tariffs may do to trade and the companies that use cheap steel and aluminum imports in the US.

The House speaker, Paul Ryan, said: “I disagree with this action and fear its unintended consequences.”

Gary Cohn, Trump’s top economic advisor, was publicly vocal about his disapproval for the tariff plans and had a falling out with the President, as he, reportedly, could not convince him to cancel them. It eventually saw him quitting from his post in the White House, the latest in a series of high-profile departures from the Trump administration.

However, the support for these plans has come from unlikely quarters — the Democrats.

“President Trump has identified the right opponent – China – much better than both the Obama and Bush administrations did,” Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader in the Senate, said on Thursday.

But Schumer urged Trump not to annoy US’ allies.

“Don’t swing blindly and wildly at our foe, China,” Schumer said. “Establish a well-placed jab at China. Set them back. Let them know we mean business.” (ANI)

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