Trump Suspends Tariffs On Multiple Nations (Not China Or Japan) Until May

After unleashing the first shots in the global trade war, and facing some retaliation from China tonight, President Trump has decided to exclude multiple nations (and The EU) from steel and aluminum tariffs through May 1st.

This action confirms what Ambassador Lighthizer suggested earlier in the evening, which perhaps explains the negligible response to this modest retreat in the trade war.

 

 

Full White House Statement:

President Trump Approves Section 232 Tariff Modifications

WASHINGTON – Today, based on ongoing dialogues, President Donald J. Trump authorized the modification of the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imports to suspend the tariffs for certain countries before they take effect. These suspensions are based on factors including ongoing discussions regarding measures to reduce global excess capacity in steel and aluminum production by addressing its root causes.

The tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the following countries are suspended until May 1, 2018, pending discussions of satisfactory long-term alternative means to address the threatened impairment to U.S. national security:

  • Argentina;
  • Australia;
  • Brazil;
  • Canada;
  • Mexico;
  • the member countries of the European Union; and
  • South Korea.

By May 1, 2018, the President will decide whether to continue to exempt these countries from the tariffs, based on the status of the discussions.  The European Union will negotiate on behalf of its member countries.

The President retains broad authority to further modify the tariffs, including by removing the suspensions or suspending additional countries.  Any country not currently suspended remains welcome to discuss a possible suspension with the United States based on a shared commitment to addressing global excess steel and aluminum capacity and production.

The Administration will closely monitor imports of steel and aluminum imports from exempted countries, and the United States Trade Representative, in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce and the Director of the National Economic Council, may advise the President to impose quotas as appropriate. Further action by the President would be needed to implement any quota the President might decide to adopt.

The tariffs proclaimed in Presidential Proclamations 9704 and 9705 will go into effect on 12:01 a.m. on Friday, March 23, 2018.

The process for directly affected parties to apply for an exclusion for specific steel or aluminum products that they need remains in place, as announced in the two Presidential Proclamations and subsequent Federal Register notices by the U.S. Department of Commerce.  Secretary Ross, in consultation with other Administration officials, will evaluate exclusion requests for products, taking into account national security considerations.  In that evaluation, the Secretary will consider whether a product is produced in the United States of a satisfactory quality or in a sufficient and reasonably available amount.

*  *  *

While few would have expected any China exemption - that's the whole point - it was perhaps notable that Japan was not exempted.

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ZeroSpam ldd Fri, 03/23/2018 - 12:38 Permalink

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In reply to by ldd

silverer Thu, 03/22/2018 - 23:31 Permalink

After the US dollar tanks, we won't need a tax on imports. The prices will automatically double. Over the years, all that these idiots pushed overseas (manufacturing) will slowly return to the US. Painfully slowly.

PitBullsRule Thu, 03/22/2018 - 23:36 Permalink

Oh Good!

That smart phone I was going to buy from ARGENTINA won't have a tariff on it! Plus I can still get that Prius that I wanted from AUSTRALIA! Boy that Trump is Really on the ball!

Good thing nothing is made in China! Or we would really have been Fucked! Good thing all the GOOD stuff is made in BRAZIL!!

Gosh its great to have such a smart leader in office...

uhland62 PitBullsRule Thu, 03/22/2018 - 23:52 Permalink

Prius is not made in Australia - we have lost all of our automobile production. And besides, we have the steering wheel on the other side. 

"...  it was perhaps notable that Japan was not exempted." That's quite logical, they have still not changed their constitution to send their young into the wars.

After 1945 they were told to have a defensive constitution. For a few years they have been told to get rid of that, but they are just not as obedient as they were. 

In reply to by PitBullsRule

PitBullsRule Thu, 03/22/2018 - 23:40 Permalink

No Tariff on MEXICO! Ondelay Pendejo! Now I can afford to get those clay pots I've had my eye on! What a wise man we have for a leader! He knows we need those Mexican products! China and Japan? Who needs that crap?! I need those Jumping Beans!

PitBullsRule Thu, 03/22/2018 - 23:43 Permalink

Oh Good! He excluded the European Union! That means we can still get those shitty British and German cars that will leak oil all over the drive way and break down every fucking mile! We need those pieces of shit, otherwise all our mechanics would be out of work! Better buy a fucking FIAT before Trump changes his mind!

PitBullsRule Thu, 03/22/2018 - 23:48 Permalink

Well the Nikkei is only down about 760 points so I guess the market is really showing a lot of confidence in our Orange asshole!
See that? Who needs Japanese products? What did those Nips ever make that was any good anyway?

radbug Fri, 03/23/2018 - 02:52 Permalink

Both Germany AND Japan have pipelines to Russian gas in the works, so, if Trump is holding Nord Stream 2 over Germany in return for tariff exemption, why not do the same to Japan? 

BritBob Fri, 03/23/2018 - 06:48 Permalink

Is China Dumping Steel?

 

Why would China be dumping steel? Well, the European trade body, Eurofer, estimates that China’s excess production – what it makes beyond the level of domestic demand – is as much as double total EU demand. In short, it has a lot to sell. Eurofer also believes that China exports steel at below production costs. According to UK Steel, Chinese producers lose US$34 on every tonne produced. International steel trade associations also believes that China sells below its normal domestic price and cost.

dogmete Fri, 03/23/2018 - 06:52 Permalink

Trump is doing this in such a sloppy manor it almost defies belief. Did he even think anything through or discuss this with anyone before he started shooting off his mouth about it?  Seems like he's not quite sure what the plan is. I'm surprised stocks didn't tank harder yesterday-- it's become obvious we have a cartoon show in the white house.

Tom Angle Fri, 03/23/2018 - 09:06 Permalink

"To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;" -- Article 1 Section 8 clause 3 US Constitution

If Trump can/will trample the Constitution, why is he any less a dictator than obama?