Allies, rivals alike hit out at Trump trade tariffs

President Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting at the White House on March 8

President Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting at the White House on March 8

After a week of hints and uncertainty, President Donald Trump said Thursday he would announce tariffs on imported steel and aluminum but with temporary exemptions for Canada and Mexico as he seeks to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement.

In a statement detailing the meeting, the White House said: "During today's meeting, the group spoke with the President about the effect that violent video games have on our youth, especially young males".

He said he was considering exempting Mexico and Canada too, provided the U.S. got a good deal in the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

"We're pleased with [Trump's] statements of tying the tariffs to a fair resolution to our trade negotiations", said Ferriola.

"We will go to the WTO, possibly with some other friends", Malmstrom told a Brussels conference on Friday.

On the import side, Navarro and Trump's targeting of China is misplaced because China isn't in the top ten countries from which we import steel.

A day away from the president's expected official action, his spokeswoman did say Mexico, Canada or other countries may be spared under national security "carve-outs", a possible move that could soften the tariff blow. Few things shore up the white working class base of President's Trump party more than nativist salvos of grim pronouncements on immigration, trade, or cultural diversity. For decades, both men have accused China of unfair trade practices that have displaced American workers and hobbled the US manufacturing base.

"I think he's wrong on a lot of things", said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch of Utah, who opposes the tariffs. "Even with limited exemptions, tariffs will raise the sale prices of new vehicles". "He and Trump agree on an America First policy when it comes to trade and other issues, so he has emerged as a policy force in this administration". He invited some of the workers to speak from the presidential podium, and several said that excessive "dumping" of foreign steel and aluminum had negatively affected their jobs and families. She will meet US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Japanese Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko in Brussels on Saturday when she will ask whether the European Union is to be included in the tariffs.

The ESA stated that they had not been contacted by the White House about the meeting prior to its announcement, and a list of attendees, which was promised to be revealed Wednesday night, wasn't released until Thursday morning. The EU, Brazil and Britain were also quick to launch broadsides against the tariffs, which are worth billions of dollars.

"This has been a true Team Canada effort", said Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, also crediting provincial premiers, businesses and labour leaders.

Canada's ambassador to Washington dined this week with US national-security adviser H.R. McMaster; Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, and Transport Minister Marc Garneau all reached out to cabinet counterparts in recent days. The talks are expected to resume early next month.

Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn resigned this week, and Trump bid him farewell by using what amounts to an anti-Semitic slur at a cabinet meeting.

"Once we see that reversed, demand will return, and we definitely will bring our people back and increase our utilization and our employment", he said.

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