Published: Thu, March 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

President Trump plans to sign tariff order on Thursday

President Trump plans to sign tariff order on Thursday

With his chief ideological rival, Gary Cohn, now headed for the exit, Navarro and his protectionist trade policies are taking center stage as President Donald Trump prepares to impose the steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports that Navarro has long championed.

Leaders from around the world have squared up to Donald Trump, promising to increase their own import charges on United States products if the President goes ahead with tariff changes. Mr Cohn plans to stay until the end of the month to help Mr Trump choose a new economic adviser, and would consider returning to the administration for a larger role such as a Cabinet post, the official said.

The Trade Partnership, a consulting firm, said the tariffs would increase USA employment in the steel and aluminum sector by about 33,000 jobs but would cost 179,000 jobs in the rest of the economy.

It was not immediately clear whether the proclamation would list countries to be exempted, as pressure grew for Trump to exclude U.S. allies from the action.

White House Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said earlier on Wednesday that the potential exemptions would be made on a "case by case" and "country by country" basis.

The sell-off began Thursday after Trump announced that his administration would impose a 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% tariff on aluminum.

She noted the USA had specifically mentioned Mexico and Canada, with whom it is re-negotiating a free trade agreement.

It's about as rare as snow in May on Cape Cod, but when it comes to imposing tariffs, many Democrats agree with President Trump and many in his own party strongly disagree with him.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 ended down just 0.05 per cent at 2,726.8 after an initial loss of nearly one per cent, with tech shares being a major bright spot.

The peso last stood at 18.7125 per dollar while the Canadian dollar changed hands at C$1.2910 to the United States unit, off its eight-month low of C$1.3002 hit earlier this week.

From shortly after dawn, administration big guns rushed to the cameras, trying to limit the fallout from a Trump policy that has already sparked fears of a global trade war, rattled stock markets and prompted the top White House economic adviser to quit.

"Here's the situation, and the president has made this public", Navarro said.

Then, Wall Street had a meltdown Wednesday with the Dow falling more than 300 points after news of Cohn's departure!

It's not the first time that relations between the world's two largest economies have become strained since Trump entered the Oval Office in 2017, but China still managed to achieve a record goods trade surplus of $375.2 billion with the USA a year ago.

President Donald Trump has proposed new taxes on imports of steel and aluminum.

Opposition to the blanket tariffs mounted among lawmakers and the business community.

Trump's plans caught investors off guard and raised fears about a tit-for-tat retaliation from China and other major U.S. trading partners.

In a separate letter, Iowa's congressional delegation, including two Republican senators, warned that the tariffs would hurt the state's farmers and manufacturing.

Both Durbin and Duckworth have been badgering the U.S. Commerce Department to complete a study it was conducting on how "illegal steel dumping is impacting our national security".

But Schumer calls the president's "instincts to go after China" correct.

"We have serious doubts about that justification". Though a tiny portion of U.S. imports, these are a sizeable part of the exporting countries' economies.

Trump has said he could exempt some nations from the new tariffs, amid threats of retaliation from US trading partners and warnings from his own party that the move will hurt American businesses and consumers. Shares of Nucor, US Steel and AK Steel lifted the S&P 1500 steel index.

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