US Trading Partners, Businesses Say Trump's Tariffs Will Backfire

"Undoubtedly, the resulting higher steel and aluminum prices are clearly nothing more than a tax on the American people".

A White House official said Mr Trump was referencing an ongoing investigation of China in which the United States trade representative is studying whether Chinese intellectual property rules are "unreasonable or discriminatory" to American business.

Fox said he would travel to Washington next week for meetings with U.S. officials about the tariffs and the possible exemptions for America's allies.

Nevertheless, during his announcement yesterday, Trump repeated his threat to pull out of the 24-year-old trade agreement if it can not be reworked to his liking.

Though primarily targeted at the massive steel and aluminium dumping by China, only two countries – Canada and Mexico – have been exempted from the new import tariff, that too till the time the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations are complete. "I just want fairness". Some, including the European Union, have threatened retaliatory tariffs on USA products such as bourbon whiskey and Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

That scenario, Tom Donohue said, would endanger the economic momentum from the GOP tax cuts and Mr Trump's rollback of regulations. "We'll take no deal rather than a bad one".

"We're all over it", Ms Bishop told ABC Radio. The Maryland Chamber of Commerce predicted the decision would have "terrible effects on Maryland's economy" and said it would "set back" manufacturing, construction and other industries.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross recommended that Trump consider instituting a tariff of at least 7.7 percent on all aluminum exports from all countries, setting a 23.6 percent tariff on all aluminum products from China, Hong Kong, Russia, Venezuela and Vietnam and making them subject to quotas, or imposing a quota on all aluminum imports from countries equal to a maxium of 87 percent of their 2017 exports to the U.S. Only Missouri, Louisiana and CT had a higher share.

"Labor productivity has seen a five-fold increase since the early 1980s, going from an average of 10.1 man-hours per finished ton to an average of 1.9 man-hours per finished ton of steel in 2014", a 2015 report from the group said.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten said he was confident the government was doing everything it can to get the steel tariff exemption and believed it would be successful. The White House said yesterday that some countries, including Mexico and Canada, may be exempt, and the tariffs are expected to be finalized and signed sometime this week.




Democrats, including several members of Maryland's mostly Democratic congressional delegation, have also opposed it.

"Our position hasn't and won't change", one Canadian source said.

Arguing that tariffs make American businesses less competitive and US consumers poorer, the Republican lawmakers stressed that any levies imposed should seek "to address specific distortions caused by unfair trade practices in a targeted way". "They've been horribly treated by other countries, and they have not been properly represented".

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, said he agreed with Trump's view that the USA needs fair trade agreements, but he thinks Trump's broad tariffs could misfire instead of deliver higher wages and economic growth.

It also prompted the resignation of Mr Trump's chief economic adviser Gary Cohn.

Trump predicted the former Goldman Sachs executive would eventually return to his administration.

President Trump claims that the United States has suffered from "unfair trade" and that the tariffs will boost the domestic market.

Sen. Orrin Hatch told reporters he thought Congress could stop the tariffs from being implemented.

"Protectionism, tariffs never really work", Fox added.

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