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Malcolm Turnbull says USA set to grant Australia tariff exemption

Malcolm Turnbull says USA set to grant Australia tariff exemption”

He has also left open the possibility of later excluding allies such as Australia. And the remedies should be reviewed and reconsidered "on a short-term basis" to determine whether they are helping or hurting U.S. workers and consumers.

However, Mr Trump's words on flexibility towards "real friends" may be a suggestion that the country could be in line for exemptions alongside Canada and Mexico.

Given the importance of trade to agriculture, congressional members from Nebraska and western Iowa - all Republicans - have pushed Trump to reconsider in letters, public statements and, in some cases, White House meetings.

"As long-standing security partners of the United States, (the European Union and Japan) underlined to ambassador Lighthizer their expectation that European Union and Japanese exports to the USA would be exempted from the application of higher tariffs", an European Union statement said after the talks.

The President added that he was fulfilling a campaign promise by imposing the tariffs, asserting that support from steelworkers was part of the reason why he won the presidency.

Trump has signalled that other trade actions could be in the works.

"I had a frank discussion with the U.S. side about the serious pending issue of steel/aluminum tariffs, " the top European Union trade official, Cecilia Malmström, wrote on Twitter after the meeting. Trump himself has said an exemption for Canada and Mexico is possible if negotiations to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement are concluded to his satisfaction.

She added: "We have been very clear that (the USA decision) is not in compliance with the WTO, so we will go to the WTO, possibly with some other friends".

Fischer wants to see trade deals renegotiated "carefully and in a way that continues to ensure Nebraskans have access to critical export markets", and she has communicated her concerns about the steel and aluminum tariffs directly to the White House, spokeswoman Brianna Puccini said.

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"They are casualties of the process, but there is very little they can do right now, because developing countries, transition economies, least developed countries are incapable of retaliatory action against the US", Unctad secretary general Mukhisa Kituyi told Reuters in Geneva.

Both House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have pushed back. Sen.

Some European policymakers said they anxious the tariffs were part of a broader assault by the Trump administration on ties between Europe and Washington, which has been the backbone of the post-World War II Western order.

Complicating matters, Trump indicated that Australia´s carve-out was linked to an unspecified "security agreement" outside of trade policy.

"This isn't a victory, it's a threat", said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. "There are unquestionably bad trade practices by nations like China, but the better approach is targeted enforcement against those practices".

Under the 1962 law authorising trade barriers to protect national security, the tariffs are to take effect within 15 days of Trump's declaration. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, has introduced a measure to nullify the tariffs. While Trump highlighted the nations' military and trade relationships, Turnbull moved to clarify Trump's comment about a new "security agreement", saying the president was referring to the legal paperwork that would lock the exemption into place.

"Congress can not be complicit as the administration courts economic disaster", the Arizona senator added.

The fact that Canada might be included on the initial hit list had become a political sore spot for the administration, as US critics of the move ridiculed it by zeroing on the idea of national-security tariffs against a peaceful next-door neighbour and defence ally.

Turnbull went a step further, telling reporters in South Australia on Saturday that he was "very pleased the President was able to confirm that he would not have to impose tariffs on Australian steel and aluminum". The tariffs "have nothing to do with the security of the United States", Mr Georg Streiter, a spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said at a news briefing on Friday.

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