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Trump piles pressure on China over trade, to push ahead with tariffs

Trump piles pressure on China over trade, to push ahead with tariffs

The United States' trade deficit rose in January to the highest level since October 2008, defying President Donald Trump's efforts to bring more balance to America's trade with the rest of the world.

Cohn is leaving the White House after breaking with President Donald Trump on trade policy.

European Union trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom set out plans to retaliate against the proposed U.S. tariffs. In it, the Republican members urge Mr. Trump to reconsider "broad" tariffs, saying that if the president wants to target China, there are better ways to do so.

The Canadian Steel Producers Association says trade in steel between Canada and the US was worth $12 billion in 2017 and was "evenly balanced" between the two countries.

Reacting to the threat from the United States president of 25% tariffs on steel imports and 10% on aluminium, European commissioner for trade Cecilia Malmström said on Wednesday the EU was finalising its own list of American exports that could face sanctions, including steel, industrial and agricultural products.

Aluminum imports from those countries support American aluminum jobs, the trade group said, because they are an important part of the business operations of the remaining US industry.

Prime ministerial spokesman Cameron Ahmad says Trudeau plans to meet with workers, business leaders, industry leaders and union leaders to demonstrate his support for those who may be affected by the tariffs.

The S&P closed 0.05 per cent lower after being down 0.4 per cent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 0.33 per cent.

Market players say the Tuesday sell-off was sparked by the previous day's announcement that the president's chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn, was resigning.

Cohn, a former executive at Goldman Sachs, was a key figure in the administration's crowning achievement, the new tax law.

That has prompted widespread criticism from his Republican colleagues in Congress and America's allies.

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"He's already indicated a degree of flexibility, and I think a sensible, balanced degree of flexibility", Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on CNBC.

"We're doing tariffs on steel". The global trade recovery, however, remains fragile and the USA protectionism will only create adversarial stances that serve to impede it.

Broad tariffs, they said, could have "unintended negative consequences to the USA economy and its workers", especially when lower corporate tax rates were making American companies more competitive in global markets.

Brussels wants to maximise the political impact of its reprisals on the U.S. while minimising the impact of a trade war on European consumers.

His announced departure has rattled financial markets and raised questions among nervous CEOs about whether his replacement will be an advocate of free trade or favor more populist and nationalist economic policies. "And I think way more often than not, he makes a very persuasive case".

The action risks retaliatory tariffs on USA exports - not least by Canada and Europe - and complicates already hard talks on the North American Free Trade Area with Canada and Mexico.

Moody's Investors Service said the planned tariffs "raise the risk of a deterioration in global trade relations". On Wednesday the White House said the plan might exempt some countries from the tariffs.

Trump also touched on immigration.

Trump claimed the United States last year had a trade deficit of "almost 800 Billion Dollars", significantly overstating the actual figure of $566 billion, which still was the biggest USA trade deficit in nine years.

In a letter released Wednesday, 107 House Republicans led by Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady - the Texas Republican Trump has praised often for his management of the tax overhaul a year ago - urged Trump to "tailor" the tariffs to punish "bad actors who trade unfairly and hurt America" such as China.


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