Business Standard

Trump signs tariff orders, ignores allies, Republicans

IANS  |  Washington 

US has defied opposition from the and protests from global allies as he signed orders imposing stiff and sweeping new tariffs on (25 per cent) and aluminium (10 per cent), said.

"The actions we are taking today are not a matter of choice; they are a matter of necessity for our security," Trump said in a ceremony at the on Thursday evening where he officially authorised the tariffs, which will go into effect in 15 days.

Thursday's move comes after a week of furious lobbying and a burst of last-minute internal debates and confusion, reports

For now, Trump agreed to exempt, and and held out the possibility of later excluding allies like

Flanked by a handful of and aluminium workers, Trump presented the move as a way to rebuild vital industries decimated by foreign competition.

"Our factories were left to rot and to rust all over the place; thriving communities turned into ghost towns... That betrayal is now over," quoted the as saying.

"This is not merely an economic disaster, but it's a security disaster we want to build our ships, we want to build our planes... with and aluminium from our country.

"We're finally taking action to correct this long overdue problem. Today I'm defending America's national security by placing tariffs on foreign imports of steel and aluminium," he added.

Trump is imposing the tariffs using a rarely employed trade provision known as Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, claiming a national security rationale for protecting the domestic steel and aluminium industries, reports

The President's move is expected to be questioned and countered, and could further put the US at odds with the international community.

Coming on the same day that 11 US allies -- but not the US -- sign a landmark trade agreement, the move on tariffs only underscores Trump's embrace of the protectionist policies he believes helped him win the presidency.

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

"I am pleased that the has listened to those who share my concerns and included an exemption for some American allies, but it should go further. We will continue to urge the administration to narrow this policy so that it is focused only on those countries and practices that violate trade law," quoted Ryan as saying on Thursday night.

"Our and our national security are strengthened by fostering free trade with our allies and promoting the rule of law."

The US is the largest in the world and the order could hit South Korea, China, Japan, Germany, and the hardest.

In 2002, former President had imposed of up to 30 per cent, reported.

But facing an adverse ruling by the and retaliation by trading partners, he lifted them 15 months before the end of the planned three-year duration.

Studies found that more jobs were lost than saved and Republican leaders vowed not to repeat the experiment.



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

First Published: Fri, March 09 2018. 08:20 IST