ibusinesslines.com March 18, 2018

US Trading Partners Seek Guidance on How to Avoid Tariffs

12 March 2018, 09:59 | Kelvin Horton

US Trading Partners Seek Guidance on How to Avoid Tariffs

Mexico relieved, still wary about NAFTA effects

He's taking a lot of heat, but President Trump did the right thing by imposing a 25 percent tariff on foreign steel last week, and I'm defending his decision to the hilt.

Still, there were signs that attempts by some countries to win tariff immunity from the United States were sowing tension among European allies. In public and in private, Trump still speaks frequently of his victories 16 months ago in Democratic-leaning states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and MI, where working-class white voters helped propel him to victory.

With the ink hardly dry on the papers the 11 countries signed in Chile last Friday, breaking down trade barriers, the deal that Trump pulled America out of, a protectionist move by the world's biggest economy is of concern to a country like ours that sold $8 billion worth of goods and services there in 2016. Former president George Bush imposed steel product tariffs in 2002, but withdrew them later, with little impact.

It is being speculated that the Indian economy will not be significantly impacted by the tariffs imposed by Trump.

China is estimated to be pirating more than one-half trillion of American technology, inventions, drugs, vaccines and computer software each year.

"If there is a violation, then we will seek consultations". China has repeatedly vowed to defend its "legitimate rights and interests" if targeted by USA trade actions. He invoked the rarely used Section 232 of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act which authorises the Secretary of Commerce to conduct comprehensive investigations to determine the effects of imports of any article on the U.S. national security. We both benefit from the transaction, but they benefit more than we do.

"It's not good steel - you guys know what I mean".

There has been strong opposition to the tariffs from Mr Trump's fellow Republicans, who traditionally favour free trade.

The EU insists that it is committed to open, global trade.

Complicating matters, Trump indicated that the sparing of Australia was linked to an unspecified "security agreement" outside of trade policy. He gave no details on how this figure was reached, but the USA and Chinese governments generally report widely differing trade figures because Beijing counts only the first port to which goods go instead of their final destination. Trump offered them tariff protection.

The Chinese aren't going to like having to conform to these new rules, but what alternative will they have?

The 25-per-cent tariff on steel products, Korea's seventh-biggest export item to the USA, also comes on top of anti-dumping and countervailing duties imposed on them.

In terms of employment, the same argument goes that the number of American jobs to be lost in other industries because of the higher steel prices would be greater than that of workers to be added to the steel sector. If they lose access to our markets they crash into recession. "There may be people who lose less".

This doctrine can also be used effectively to advance our national security goals as well.

That would have negative consequences for American consumers and producers alike, as well as for the USA economy.

It buys about 60 percent of its military assets from the United States, allows Marines to rotate through Darwin every year, and swaps intelligence with Washington. These gains have been enormous for everyone.

Recent analysis from CommSec shows that in January that trade deficit was the second largest on record, with an $18.5 billion difference between imports and exports. If the United States is isolated, it could actually be good for Australia.

Earlier in Beijing, Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan said any trade war with the U.S. would only bring disaster to the world economy.

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