Washington: US President Donald Trump today invited other countries for talks and negotiations if they want exemption from his 25 per cent import duty on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium.
Mexico and Canada are the only two countries that have been given temporary exemption because of the ongoing negotiations with them on North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The tariff would come into effect in 15 days.
“America will remain open to modifying or removing the tariffs for individual nations. As long as we can agree on a way to ensure that their products no longer threaten our security,” Trump told reporters. The US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert E Lighthizer has been made in-charge of negotiating with countries that seek an alternative to the steel and aluminium tariffs, Trump said.
The White House said Trump welcomes any country with which “we have a security relationship” to discuss alternative ways to address US concerns, including those about global excess capacity.
He has left open an avenue for potentially modifying or removing a tariff under certain conditions for individual countries, it said. “Modification or removal of the tariffs would be possible if alternative means are agreed upon to ensure imports from a country no longer threaten to impair our national security. Under the direction of the President, the USTR is responsible for negotiations with countries that seek an alternative means to the steel and aluminium tariffs,” the White House said.
“In addition, there will be a mechanism for US parties to apply for the exclusion of specific products based on demand that is unmet by domestic production or on specific national security considerations. This process will be managed by the Department of Commerce in consultation with other Federal agencies,” it said.