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Will Trump's bold gamble work? The tariffs explained

Will Trump's bold gamble work? The tariffs explained

In his speech Saturday in Pennsylvania - historically a major steel-producing state, but which has lost thousands of jobs to mechanization and foreign competition - Trump said that European Union countries "kill us on trade".

In a comment, the Chinese Commerce Minister said that a trade war with America would only have catastrophic consequences for the world economy.

He said also that Washington had overestimated its trade deficit with China by 20 per cent, citing the opinions of unspecified experts. They've also threatened to tax major American exports like Harley-Davidson motorcycles, and bourbon. The makers of products including Dettol cleaners and Gillette razors are facing increased structural pressure due to the growth of online and discount retailers, he said.

Trump said Tuesday he's leaning toward hiring Larry Kudlow, a longtime free trade advocate, as his next economic adviser.

Asked how Manning and others can bring more people to their side of this issue, he says skeptics need to understand the need for a "level playing field", when China views its steel and aluminum as a national defense strategy to weaken us steel campacity.

"You know when it starts but not how it will turn out" when countries engage in mutual retaliation, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo said in remarks to reporters after a meeting with Brazilian President Michel Temer.

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The initial recommendation to Trump was for tariffs of 24 per cent on steel and 7 per cent on aluminum, but news reports have described the president seeking round numbers. The weekend before the announcement, Ottawa was getting word that Trump was heavily leaning toward including Canada, largely because of concerns steel from China was coming into the USA from Canada.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull confirmed Australia will be exempt but denied the announcement was the result of a new security agreement, instead saying Mr Trump was referring to the legal paperwork to cement the deal.

He said other countries could be spared the tariffs if they can convince the United States government that their steel and aluminium exports do not threaten American industry. Both will be losers and the world trade will suffer as a effect.

Our economy benefits when other nations' economies grow, because those countries can then afford to buy more American products, Lankford noted in The Washington Post past year. The bloc does impose a 10 percent levy on US auto imports, while the USA charges a 25 percent levy on trucks and pickups, and up to 40 percent on some clothes, she said.

"We don't carry out a global FONOPs program as the United States does", she said. Neither China, nor the United States will come out of that as winners.

Brussels has pushed back the hardest against Washington's shock measures, loudly announcing a list of U.S. products - including peanuts and motorcycles - it could hit with countermeasures.