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US has to protect and build its steel and Aluminum industries: Trump

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

today said the US has to take steps to protect and build its and aluminium industries as he hinted that he might sign the much-awaited executive action on it later in the day, notwithstanding global criticism.

Trump's plan for and aluminium import tariffs would face retaliation from America's top trading partners, the and

"Looking forward to 3:30 P.M. meeting today at the White House," Trump tweeted, in an indication that he might sign the executive order to impose a 25 per cent duty on import of and 10 per cent on aluminium.

"We have to protect & build our Steel and Aluminium Industries while at the same time showing great flexibility and cooperation toward those that are real friends and treat us fairly on both trade and the military," he tweeted.

On March 1, Trump had announced that he would impose 25 per cent import on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium to protect US producers, a move that invited criticism from and the which said it could trigger a trade war.

The reported today that for the month of February totalled 2,428,000 net tonnes (NT). This was a 21.2 per cent decrease from the 3,081,000 permit tons recorded in January and a 15.6 per cent decrease from the January preliminary imports total of 2,875,000 NT.

In February, the largest finished for offshore countries were for (252,000 NT, down 26 per cent from January preliminary), (111,000 NT, up 23 per cent), (110,000 NT, down 22 per cent), (85,000 NT, up 18 per cent) and (68,000 NT, down 42 per cent).

Through the first two months of 2018, the largest offshore suppliers were (591,000 NT, up three per cent), (251,000 NT, up two per cent) and (201,000 NT, up 50 per cent).

More than 100 Republican lawmakers implored Trump to drop his plan and urged him to focus on unfair trading policies of China.

told Fox late last night that Trump would sign the executive order later in the day.

The new tariffs would go into effect in 15-30 days, he said.

"The proclamation will have a clause that does not impose these tariffs immediately on and Mexico, and it's going to give us an opportunity and one of the best guys in this administration, the opportunity to negotiate a great deal for this country," Navarro said.

"And if we get that, then all is good with and Mexico," he added. "We're going to open this up for our allies to just see if we can work through this problem," he said.

Yesterday, 107 Republican members of the sent a letter to the expressing concern about broad tariffs and calling for him to focus any action on unfair trading partners, like China.

"We are writing to express deep concern about the prospect of broad, global tariffs on aluminium and Because tariffs are taxes that make US businesses less competitive and US consumers poorer, any tariffs that are imposed should be designed to address specific distortions caused by unfair trade practices in a targeted way while minimising negative consequences on American businesses and consumers," the lawmakers said.

"We support your resolve to address distortions caused by China's unfair practices, and we are committed to acting with you and our trading partners on meaningful and effective action. But we urge you to reconsider the idea of broad tariffs to avoid unintended negative consequences to the US and its workers. We are eager to work with you in pursuing a workable, targeted approach that achieves our shared goal," they wrote.

In the letter, Republican lawmakers outlined several recommendations to hold countries accountable without disrupting the flow of fairly that American manufacturers rely on.

However, according to The Wall Street Journal, at the yesterday, aides began preparations for the ceremony ushering in a turn in trade policy that could recalibrate relations between the US and its allies and trading partners.

"We are definitely going to end up with these tariffs," told Fox and "we're going to roll this out very, very quickly."

"The president understands the He understands He is looking out for American companies and American workers with trade deals that are just not fair," he said.

The prospect of approaching tariffs has set off furious lobbying from governments around the world, who have tried to sway the administration with offers of friendship and threats of retaliation, reported.

Yesterday, the released a list of American-made goods it would penalise if the tariffs went through.

China, which ranks 11 among the largest sources of imports, cautioned that it was prepared to "make an appropriate and necessary response" should the impose the tariffs.

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

First Published: Thu, March 08 2018. 20:55 IST