Canada waits for news on United States steel tariffs with deadline tomorrow

UPDATE 1-Trump has not decided yet on metals tariff exemptions, Mnuchin says

In March, Trump imposed duties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum.

"The administration has reached agreements in principle with Argentina, Australia, and Brazil, details of which will be finalized in the next 30 days".

Trump administration officials have said that in lieu of tariffs, steel and aluminum exporting countries would have to agree to quotas created to achieve similar protections for USA producers.

The EU has argued that the US tariffs are "essentially" safeguard measures, despite the fact that Washington said its actions were to protect national security.

China was not included in the exemptions and it later retaliated with its own duties on some U.S. imports. The secretary indicated on Friday that nations have been asked to accept import quotas in return for tariff-free access of the metals into the U.S. But he walked back from an earlier no-exemptions stance to give Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, the European Union, Mexico and South Korea a temporary reprieve when the tariffs took effect, and directed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to handle negotiations with countries seeking exemptions.

Talks continue with Canada, Mexico and the EU.

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Trump has invoked a 1962 trade law to erect protections for US steel and aluminum producers on national security grounds, amid a worldwide glut of both metals that is largely blamed on excess production in China.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross sounded a hopeful tune in an interview with Bloomberg on Saturday.

Mexico and Canada are in talks with the US on a revised North American Free Trade Agreement. Potential targets include Harley Davidson motorcycles, from the home state of House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Kentucky bourbon, which could get the attention of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. Brussels has already threatened to hit back with tariffs on American imports such as motorcycles, jeans, orange juice, bourbon, and peanut butter-after Canada, the European Union is the biggest importer (chart in German) by volume of that quintessentially American product.

Economists have warned that tariffs could backfire, by raising prices for USA businesses and consumers and sparking a backlash against American exports.

The EU and other countries have been asked to spell out what limits they could accept on the amount of steel they export to the United States, how they would address the issue of excess production of steel and aluminum and how they would support the USA before global bodies like the World Trade Organization. The quota deal came as part of a broader renegotiation on the US and South Korea's bilateral trade deal, KORUS. After all: A tariff is simply a sales tax on imported goods.

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