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Trump imposes heavy tariffs on steel and aluminum imports into US,

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

today imposed heavy tariffs on and aluminium which he said were necessary to boost the US industry suffering from "unfair" practices, a move that has sparked fears of a global trade war.

Trump signed two proclamations that levied a 25 per cent on and a 10 per cent on aluminium imported from all countries except and The contentious tariffs will go into effect in 15 days.

Other countries would have to negotiate with US Trade Representatives (USTR) if they want exemptions from the and aluminium import tariffs.

Trump said strong and aluminium industries were vital to the US national security.

"Absolutely vital. is You don't have You don't have a country. Our industries have been targeted for years and years. Decades, in fact, by unfair foreign trade practices, leading to the shuttered plants and mills, the laying-off of millions of workers, and the decimation of entire communities. That's going to stop," he said.

Trump said the "unfair" foreign trade practices were not merely an "economic disaster" but a "security disaster" and by signing the two proclamations he was defending America's national security.

"We want to build our ships, we want to build our planes, we want to build our with steel, with aluminium from our country. And now we're finally taking action to correct this long-overdue problem. It's a travesty," he said.

Stating that he wants a lot of coming to the US, Trump asserted that he wants it to be "fair".

"We want our workers to be protected and we want, frankly, our companies to be protected. By contrast, we will not place any new tax on product made in the US. So there's no tax if a product is made in the USA. You don't want to pay tax? Bring your plant to the USA. There's no tax," he said.

The action being taken, the said, follows a nine-month investigation by the Department of Commerce, documenting a growing crisis in and aluminium production that threatens the security of the country. It is also bad for US economically and with jobs, he rued.

Trump called the "aggressive" foreign trade practices an "assault on our country".

"The American and aluminium industry has been ravaged by aggressive foreign trade practices. It's really an assault on our country. It's been an assault. They know better than anybody. Other countries have added production capacity that far exceeds demand. And flooded the world market with cheap that is subsidised by foreign governments, creating jobs for their country and taking away jobs from our country," he said.

The import tariffs are likely to face retaliation from America's top trading partners, the and

Major Asian nations reacted sharply to Trump's decision to impose tariffs on and aluminum imports, warning of damage to close relations amid industry calls for retaliation.

said the move would have a "big impact" on the countries' close bilateral ties, while said it was "resolutely opposed" to the decision and said it may file a complaint to the


Trump also pledged to impose "reciprocal tax" on countries like and if they do not match America's

"We're going to be doing a reciprocal tax programme, at some point so that if is going to charge us 25 per cent or if is going to charge us 75 per cent and we charge them nothing. They are 50, they are 75 or they are 25, we are going to be doing the same numbers. It's called reciprocal. It's a mirror of tags. So they charge us 50, we would charge them 50," Trump said in his remarks before signing the two proclamations.

Trump in recent weeks had complained India's on the import of American motorcycles - specifically Harley-Davidsons - was too high.

The US said the stage for the imposition of reciprocal tax has been set in the first year of his administration.

"They will charge us 50, we charge them nothing. Doesn't work. So that's called a reciprocal tax ... mirror attacks. We will be going to be doing a lot of them," Trump said.

"American companies have not been treated fairly and some American companies frankly have taken advantage of it and gone to other countries and developed in Mexico, massive automobile plants, taking our jobs away and taking our companies down to to make the cars and then they send them right across the border without tax, without anything," he said.

Referring to a tweet by head Elan Musk, Trump said charges 25 per cent duty on American cars whereas it is just 2.5 per cent on import of Chinese cars into the US.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 09 2018. 11:30 IST
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