Navarro: Tariff exemptions will be done in 'Trump time'

Trump threatens Europe with more tariffs

Greg Nash

The Trump administration is putting together a package of anti-China measures, including tariffs on at least an annual $30 billion of Chinese imports, to pressure Beijing to end requirements that US companies transfer technology to Chinese firms.

USA automakers are among the businesses with the most at stake, accounting for 38 percent of the aluminum and 15 percent of the steel consumed in the country, according to Ward's Automotive Reports.

A senior White House advisor on trade said today that President Donald Trump would soon consider fresh punitive measures against Beijing over its "theft" of United States intellectual property. However, if those NAFTA exemptions are made permanent, the tariffs on products from other countries may be hiked above 25%, insiders say.

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"We can obviously do it in a way that can be good for the American people and good for the global trading system", he said.

"His proposal to impose tariffs on European steel and aluminum is a bad sign for transatlantic relations".

Last week, the administration's top trade official presented the president with a $30 billion (€24.2 billion) a year tariff package on Chinese imports and Trump requested a higher number, sources told politics news site Politico.

"A tariff is a tax, plain and simple", said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the NRF.

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Last year, the US' main purchases from China were telecommunications equipment, data processing machines, electric machines, clothing, baby carriages & toys, and vehicles, according to Nomura.

Brivio reiterated Brussels' firm stance that the European Union is the US' closest ally and one of its main strategic trading partners, and, therefore, not a national threat.

The EU says that rather than impose tariffs on friendly nations, the USA should cooperate in trying to reduce a glut of steel and aluminum on worldwide markets, which experts says is largely due to China's overproduction in recent years.

Trump has long singled out China as being unfair in its trade practices and for dumping cheap steel on the global markets, depressing prices. "The spokeswoman told Reuters, however, that Trump meant "$100 billion".

Some fear the tariffs could spark a broader trade war. That suggests these tariffs might not be the start of a trade war but could be a dramatic marker being used by Washington as a sign that it wants to reset key USA trade relationships in order to reduce the trade deficit. Let me be clear: "instead of risking a trade war, which he seems eager to wage, we should be aiming for greater cooperation", Tusk said at a joint press conference with Finnish Prime Minister in Helsinki.

The White House declined to comment on the scale and timing of the measure.

In August, the president directed Lighthizer to investigate whether China's intellectual-property policies discriminated against US companies.

The United States yesterday launched a trade dispute with India at the World Trade Organization over export subsidies.

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