US Commerce Secretary: No Exemptions for Trump's Steel Tariffs


US Commerce Secretary: No Exemptions for Trump's Steel Tariffs

Secretary Ross on Friday tried to sell his aluminum and steel tariffs that President Trump announced Thursday that have caused the markets to tank.

The secretary made the remarks on Sunday during an interview with US broadcaster ABC, saying that "the decision obviously is his, but as of the moment he's talking about a fairly broad brush".

Ross said Trump has had conversations with a number of world leaders since the announcement, which stunned United States trading partners, alarmed American industry leaders and roiled stock markets.

Numerous ministers from around the world have been in touch with Trump and administration officials including Ross, hinting at an intensive behind-the-scenes effort to change the US President's mind, the commerce secretary said.

The Commerce Department recommended imposing heavy tariffs or quotas on foreign producers of steel and aluminum last month in the interest of national security.

Dan DiMicco, the former CEO of US steelmaker Nucor, said President Trump is right to slap tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, especially from China.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Theresa May expressed "deep concern" to Trump Sunday about the tariff plan.

"Using "national security" tools to implement tariffs could embolden other countries to impose "national security" tariffs on US exporters or otherwise restrict USA goods and services sold to their markets", Business Roundtable President and CEO Joshua Bolten said in a statement on Thursday.

"This is a can of Campbell's soup", Ross said as he held up a can of Campbell's soup to the camera.

The European Union has said it is drawing up measures against leading USA brands like Harley-Davidson and Levi's jeans, while China warned it "won't sit idly by" if its interests are hurt.

Peter Navarro, director of the White House National Trade Council, said exempting countries was a slippery slope.

On Saturday, Trump threatened European carmakers with a tax on imports if the European Union retaliates.

The broader economy will suffer, however, if the Trump administration follows the steel and aluminum actions with other restrictive trade enforcement policies on a growing list of imports, he said.

Kudlow said he wants White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn to remain, responding to multiple media reports about Cohn's future with Trump after he was not able to convince the president not to impose the tariffs. "They flood the world market with this product and that ripples down to our shores and to other countries", he said.

"As to the idea of retaliation, sure there may well be some sort of retaliation, but the amounts that they're talking about are also pretty trivial", Ross told ABC's "This Week". Well, in our sized economy, that's a tiny, tiny fraction of 1%.

"In our size economy that's a tiny, tiny fraction of 1 per cent", Ross said.



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