Protectionism: what is Trump doing by reviving the steel war

Thursday 1 er March, the announcement of Donald Trump to overtax imports of steel (+ 25%) and aluminum (+ 15%) is not only unjustified . It may be counterproductive. While the US economy is in great shape, nothing grounds a decision that reassures the Republican base, but divides the party. Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce, is for. But Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council, is against this directive, which first strikes the allies of the United States (Canada, United Kingdom, Germany) and only penalizes the Chinese scarecrow (10 e exporter of steel on American soil). Oukase even makes Peking, prompt to denounce this sprain to freedom, the herald of an open international trade.

"No big country without steel industry" insists the American president, ready for a trade war "easy to win" . Not sure. The speed with which the European Union has threatened America with retaliation is a measure of the danger of a protectionist spiral that would affect the entire industry. In 2002, a similar decision by George W. Bush resulted in the loss of 200,000 jobs in the steel-consuming industries …

Donald Trump will announce taxes on steel and aluminum "very fair"

US President Donald Trump pledged that the import taxes on steel and aluminum he will enact on Thursday will be "very fair", citing possible exemptions for Mexico , Canada, Australia "and other" countries. "We will be very fair, we will be very flexible," Donald Trump launched a few hours before the promulgation of these taxes, whose announcement has rekindled the specter of a trade war between the United States ] and many of his allies, while creating disagreements within his own Republican Party and within the White House .

The signing will take place at 3:30 pm (8:30 pm GMT), announced the US executive in a statement. Donald Trump announced just a week ago his intention to impose 25% steel imports and 10% aluminum. In brief statements to the press in the presence of key members of his administration, he hinted Thursday that some countries could escape these tariffs.

"We have very good relations with Australia, we have a surplus Australia, a great country, a partner for a long time, we will do something with them, "he said. "We will do something with other countries", he added, while being very critical of Germany, on the issue of trade but also its spending on defense within NATO .

The US President also confirmed that his decision on Mexico and Canada would ultimately depend on the outcome of the ongoing negotiations on the North Free Trade Agreement. American (Alena) uniting the United States and these two countries. "If we find an agreement, it is very likely that we will not impose taxes on these two countries," he said.

"Great flexibility"

He had mentioned earlier in a tweet the need to protect the US steel and aluminum industries while demonstrating "great flexibility and cooperation with those who are true friends and treat us fairly in both trade and defense" . Canada, the largest trading partner and the largest steel supplier in the United States, has been heavily lobbying the Trump administration in recent days.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland met with Republican leader Paul Ryan, who himself urged the US president not to apply taxes for all countries. In the face of the outcry around the world, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Wednesday that there could be "waivers" for Mexico and Canada and "potentially other countries"

US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had also shown signs of appeasement. The relaxation of the Republican president's tone also coincides with the demand of a hundred Republican elected representatives of the House of Representatives not to impose uniform taxes.

On the external plane, Washington has attracted the wrath of the European Union which has hammered out that a trade war would be harmful to all parties including the United States. "It is now time for political leaders on both sides of the Atlantic to act responsibly," urged European Council President Donald Tusk, adding that the dispute will be on the agenda of the next EU summit in Brussels on 22 and March 23.

One of the Vice-Presidents of the European Commission Jyrki Katainen on Thursday made a regulatory provision: Donald Trump can not exempt a member state of the EU from taxes without mechanically driving an exemption from all EU. Well before the promulgation of these taxes, the EU has prepared a response. Commissioner for Foreign Trade Cecilia Malmström has detailed a list of American products that could be taxed, including the famous peanut butter, to compensate in value the damage caused to the European industry.

Europeans export about 5 billion euros of steel and 1 billion euros of aluminum each year to the United States. Thursday, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is in turn on the rise, fearing that the escalation of protectionist measures does not compromise growth. On the side of other trading partners, Beijing said Thursday it would adopt a "appropriate and necessary response" to possible US trade sanctions. "In our globalized world, those who resort to commercial warfare choose the wrong remedy, they will only penalize others while penalizing themselves," said Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

(with AFP)

The main reactions to Trump's protectionist coup on steel

Donald Trump climbed yet another notch in his commercial war hints Friday threatening US trading partners of "reciprocal taxes" on their imports after already targeting the steel and of aluminum, while asserting that such conflicts were "easy" to win. "When a country taxes our products say 50% and we tax to ZERO the same product that enters our country it is not fair or intelligent," said the US president in a tweet.

"We will soon to impose RECIPROCAL TAXES so that we can impose the same thing they impose on us With a trade deficit of 800 billion dollars, we have no choice, "he said. Earlier, he had said in another tweet that "when a country (the United States) loses billions of dollars by trading virtually with all countries with which it does business, trade wars are good and easy to win."

The European Union "will react firmly"

This protectionist rhetoric is added to its announcement the day before it would promulgate "next week" new tariff measures, evoking tariffs of 25% for steel and 10% for aluminum, but without specifying which countries would be targeted. He assured that "they will be applied for a long time". These declarations had led to a strong response by most of the US trading partners.

The European Union "will react firmly and proportionally to defend (its) interests", responded the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, adding that the Commission would present "in the coming days a proposal for countermeasures against the United States, consistent with the rules of the WTO (World Trade Organization), to rebalance the situation."

The The European Union is already preparing a targeted list of US products that it could heavily tax in order to send "a political message" to Donald Trump, said a European source. But Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen also said a "small window of opportunity remains open" as long as Trump did not carry out his threats.

M. Juncker was supported by Germany on Friday. Berlin "rejects" Donald Trump's decision, Angela Merkel spokesperson Steffen Seibert said, noting that it would "not solve the problem of global overcapacity in the steel industry."

"That losers "

The French Minister of Economy Bruno Le Maire has warned that a trade war" will only losers ". If such measures were confirmed, they would have "a major impact" on the European economy, he warned. The World Trade Organization (WTO) in charge of arbitration of commercial disputes, is "clearly preoccupied", affirmed in a written declaration his boss Roberto Azevedo, affirming that "a commercial war would be in the interest of nobody" ,

On Canada's side, Washington's first trading partner, the Minister of International Trade, François-Philippe Champagne warned that any customs tax imposed by the United States would be "unacceptable". Moscow, for its part, declared "to share the concern" of "many European capitals".

World's largest steel producer, but selling very little in the United States, China Second trading partner of the United States, however, has refrained from mentioning this time of possible retaliatory measures, merely calling on the United States to "curb their recourse to protectionist measures." An economic advisor to Chinese President Liu He has been visiting Washington since Thursday, where he meets White House officials but not Mr. Trump, to discuss trade tensions between the two countries.

Toyota for its part warned against a significant increase in prices for cars and trucks sold in America, if the Japanese manufacturer is no longer able to import cheap steel. On Thursday, Donald Trump, meeting with the US steel and aluminum industry, urged them to rebuild their industries by taking advantage of the protection afforded by these taxes.

Cold weather in the markets [19659004] The surprise announcement of the US president has a cold snap on the stock markets of the planet. Wall Street was down 0.8% at 16:50 GMT after already dropping 1.72% yesterday. Tokyo fell sharply by 2.50% in closing on Friday, as Hong Kong and mainland China stock markets also fell while European markets also closed in negative territory. The dollar was also down on Friday.

The United States is the largest steel importer in the world. Their main suppliers are Canada (16%), Brazil (13%) and South Korea (10%), far ahead of China, which accounts for less than 2% of total imports.

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Steel and Aluminum Taxes: These Trump Shock Protectionist Announcements Tremble the World

Is Donald Trump about to start a global trade war with his major trading partners? The US president announced Thursday (March 1st) that he will hit high taxes on imports of steel and aluminum to United States . "I will promulgate them next week," said the US president during a meeting at the White House with US steel and aluminum producers. "And they will be applied for a long time," he said. The US president has raised tariffs of 25 percent for steel and 10 percent for aluminum, but does not specify which countries they will target.

"You will have to rebuild your industries," said Donald Trump. industrialists he received, adding that cheap imports into the United States "are destroying our businesses and jobs". The statements come as Liu He, the Chinese president's economic advisor, is visiting Washington. He had to meet White House officials but not Donald Trump, US officials told AFP.

Donald Trump had in principle until April 11 in the case of steel and until April 19 in the case of aluminum, to decide on measures aimed at imports into the United States that it accuses of being subsidized and sold at prices lower than their production costs (dumping). The statements of Donald Trump will finally have revealed the main points in short statements.

But these have helped accelerate the fall of Wall Street whose index DJIA lost more than 2% around 20:00 GMT , weighed down by the sharp decline of export companies like Boeing, Caterpillar and United Technologies which lost more than 3%.

Fed Alert

US Central Bank (Fed) President Jerome Powell, who comes from take office after being appointed by Donald Trump, also expressed his reluctance to the weapon of trade sanctions, saying in a hearing before the Senate that "customs duties were not the best approach "and that" in general "trade had a" positive impact "on the economy

The Trump administration unveiled in mid-February three scenarios to tax imports of aluminum steel, highlighting the need to preserve national security and jobs in the United States. The first option would be to tax all imports of these two sectors considered strategic, the second proposes an even higher taxation to some countries and the third would see the introduction of quotas, explained the Minister of Commerce Wilbur Ross. 19659002] In detail, a tax of at least 24% is envisaged on all steel imports irrespective of the country of origin; or a tax of at least 53% on those from twelve countries including China, Russia, Brazil, South Korea and Turkey; or a quota equivalent to 63% of imports from each country based on 2017 quantities. Proposals for aluminum are similar with a general taxation of at least 7.7%, or at least 23.6% % of those from China, Hong Kong, Russia, Venezuela and Vietnam. The quota option would be 86.7% of imports based on 2017.

The United States is the largest steel importer in the world. Their imports are nearly four times greater than their exports, lamented Wilbur Ross, also accusing China of producing "every month on average almost all the annual needs of the United States." The US president's statements are waking up fears of a global trade war, with China, the second-largest trading partner of the United States, having warned that it will not stand idly by US protectionist measures. Yet this country is far from being the largest supplier of steel in the United States, accounting for less than 2% of total imports. These are mainly from Canada (16%), Brazil (13%) and South Korea (10%).

(with AFP)

Steel and aluminum: Trump's protectionist announcements induce its trading partners

The threat on Thursday, March 1 of US President Donald Trump to impose next week high taxes on imports of steel and aluminum to United States a indignant reactions in the world, giving rise to the risk of a trade war. The tenant of the White House intends to apply the imposition of tariffs of 25% for steel and 10% for aluminum. Overview of the global shock wave caused by these announcements

European Union

The European Union "will react firmly and proportionately to defend (its) interests", countered European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, adding that the Commission would present "in the coming days a proposal for countermeasures against the United States, consistent with WTO rules, to rebalance the situation".


On the side of Canada Washington's first trading partner, the Minister of International Trade, François-Philippe Champagne, warned that any customs tax imposed by the United States would be "unacceptable". "Clearly, Canada is not one of those" bad guys "involved in the unjust trade and dumping of aluminum and steel into the United States," said the union. For its part, the United Steelworkers (USW) North American Steelworkers Union, which is primarily active in the United States and Canada, is demanding that Canadian steel and aluminum producers be excluded from the measures announced by Donald Trump. [19659002] Germany

The German Steel Association Stahl denounced "measures that violate the rules of the World Trade Organization", requiring the intervention of the European Union. "If Europe does not act, our steel industry will pay the bill for US protectionism," warned Hans Jürgen Kerkhoff, president of Stahl, in a statement.

United Kingdom

"We have have been particularly concerned about any action that could have an impact on UK steel and its aluminum industries, "said the British Embassy in Washington, DC, while discussion with the Americans


"The consequences for China are not very important," said Li Xinchuang, deputy secretary-general of the China Iron and Steel Association. He felt there was "nothing to do" after the US decision.

South Korea

South Korea, the third largest steel exporter to the United States behind Canada and Brazil , announced that it would continue the dialogue with US officials until the completion of Washington's tariff projects.


Japan's Minister of Industry and Trade, Hiroshige Seko , said for its part continue to seek a "clarification" from the United States. "I do not think that Japan's steel and aluminum exports, which are an ally of the United States, in any way undermine the national security of the United States and we would like to explain this in the United States, "he said. The automaker Toyota said that tariffs would significantly increase the costs, and therefore the prices, of its vehicles sold in the United States.

(with agencies)