China accuses Trump of damaging global trade

China accuses Trump of damaging global trade

President Donald Trump stuck to his guns and formally announced heavy new steel and aluminum tariffs Thursday afternoon, despite fears from Republicans that it could start a trade war.

Trump said the "aggressive" foreign trade amounted to an "assault" on the U.S., but that he would also show flexibility with friendly countries, possibly removing tariffs for some.

The request to Beijing comes amid a heated worldwide debate on trade policy after Trump announced a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports last Thursday.

"A strong steel and aluminum industry are vital to our national security, absolutely vital", he said.

"If you're our allies, trading partners, you've got to be pulling your hair out right now", he later told reporters.

Railroad tracks run past the blast furnaces of the now-closed Bethlehem Steel mill in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, April 21, 2016.

One possible plan would give Canada and Mexico 30-day exemptions, officials said Wednesday, a status whose continuation would depend on progress in renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The new duties amount to 25 percent on foreign steel and 10 percent on imported aluminum.

A $1 billion decrease in the U.S.

Mr. Trump indicated that the tariffs would go into effect on Canada and Mexico "if we don't make the deal on Nafta and if we terminate Nafta because they are unable to make a deal that's fair".

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"We urge you to reconsider the idea of broad tariffs to avoid unintended negative consequences to the USA economy and its workers", 107 House Republicans wrote in a letter to Trump on Wednesday.

The president, who called aluminum and steel "the backbone of our nation", further contended that the policy marks an end to the "betrayal" of American workers.

Trump has declared that trade wars are "easy to win" and campaigned on the promise to renew American industries by slapping barriers on trade from other countries. He added that NAFTA was an important part of the U.S. -Canada-Mexico security relationship.

And now he's committed Canada to an 11-nation trade partnership with Pacific Rim countries without USA involvement, a deal that will permit, among other things, more foreign auto imports into Canada - which has already infuriated US automakers and Canada's auto workers.

"This is an industry that is in serious condition if you turn to the steel industry since 200,000 we've lost over 50,00 jobs, since 200 we've lost 40,000 in aluminum", a senior administration official said Friday.

The Ministry of Commerce said in a statement Friday that China will take "strong measures' to protect its own interests and warned the USA government's actions will "seriously shake" the global trade order".

The tariffs have anxious Wisconsin's Republican Governor Scott Walker, who last week urged Trump to reconsider.

Dr Fox said: "We understand the anxieties about steel over-production that the United States has but we believe there are other ways to tackle that on a multilateral basis".

He also faced continued criticism from his Republican party, most notably House Speaker Paul Ryan who continued to lament Trump's move.

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