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Trump plans to offer Canada, Mexico 30-day tariff exemption - official

Reuters  |  WASHINGTON 

By Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. plans to offer and a 30-day exemption from planned tariffs on and aluminium imports, which could be extended based on progress in NAFTA talks, a said on Wednesday night.

The move, first reported by the Washington Post, followed comments earlier in the day by a that the impending tariffs could exclude Canada, and a clutch of other countries "based on national security."

Trump was expected to sign a presidential proclamation to establish the tariffs during a ceremony on Thursday, but a said later it could slide into Friday because documents had to be cleared through a legal process.

The has faced mounting opposition to the tariffs from prominent congressional Republicans and business officials worried about their potential impact on the

The tariffs would impose duties of 25 percent on and 10 percent on aluminium to counter cheap imports, especially from China, that the says undermine U.S. industry and jobs.

A senior U.S. said the measures would take effect about two weeks after Trump signs the proclamation.

told a on Wednesday: "We expect that the will sign something by the end of the week and there are potential carve-outs for and based on national security, and possibly other countries as well based on that process.

"It will be country by country, and it will be based on national security," she said.

Trump had said on Monday that and would only be excluded after the successful renegotiation of the Agreement.

Efforts by Trump and U.S. trade negotiators to link the NAFTA talks to the duties have received short shrift from and City.

Action that does not include exemptions risks retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports - not least by and - and complicates already tough trade talks on NAFTA.

The benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 stock index ended slightly lower following a volatile session after Trump promised the tariffs but then said and could be exempt.

The closed 0.05 percent lower after being down 0.4 percent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 0.33 percent. The U.S. dollar pared gains to end little changed, while the Canadian dollar and Mexican peso pared some losses.

Markets were rattled by Tuesday's resignation announcement by Trump's chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn, who was seen as a bulwark against Trump's economic nationalism.

Cohn's departure, after an internal battle over Trump's plans to impose the tariffs, clears the way for greater influence by trade hardliners such as and Peter Navarro, Trump's

Sanders said Trump was considering several candidates to fill Cohn's position, while Navarro said he was not short-listed for the job.


In his first tweet on Wednesday, the Republican showed no sign of backing away from the tariffs, saying the had lost more than 55,000 factories and 6 million jobs and let its trade deficit soar since the 1989-1993 administration of

Later, his tweets turned to trade with China, demanding that lay out plans for reducing its trade surplus with the by $1 billion, which appeared to have been raised during a meeting with a top Chinese last week.

"has been asked to develop a plan for the year of a One Billion Dollar reduction in their massive Trade Deficit with the United States," Trump tweeted, without saying where the message had been conveyed.

ran a record goods trade surplus with the last year of $375.2 billion

On Wednesday, more than 100 House of Republicans, including Kevin Brady, of the House that oversees U.S. trade policy, wrote to Trump praising him for standing up to "bad actors," but emphasized that fairly should be excluded from the tariffs.

In a separate letter, Iowa's congressional delegation, including two Republican senators, warned that the tariffs would hurt the state's farmers and

The of the influential U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Tom Donohue, warned about the impact to the

"We won't drive the to over 3 percent growth or continue to create jobs if we go down this path," said Donohue, the chamber's and chief executive. "We urge the administration to take this risk seriously."

(Additional reporting by Roberta Rampton, David Shepardson, Susan Heavey, and in Washington, Tom Miles in Geneva and Phil Blenkinsop in Luxembourg; Writing by and Lesley Wroughton; Editing by and Peter Cooney)

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

First Published: Thu, March 08 2018. 08:35 IST