South Korea says talking to U.S. about steel tariffs plan

US says time running short for NAFTA talks, floats bilateral deals

U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the United States would impose universal tariffs of 25 percent on all steel and 10 percent of all aluminum imports.

The US President says putting a 25 percent tariff on steel from other countries will help protect American jobs.

China also condemned the move, with a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson saying: "If all countries followed the example of the United States, [it] will undoubtedly result in a serious impact on the worldwide trade order".

She raised a point that came up during the appraisal process by the Department of Commerce, saying it is inappropriate for the view any trade with Canada as a national security threat. It doesn't want to be seen as weak.

"The truth is economic security is national security", he said. "They don't want to be seen as a party that is wrecking the global trading system".

Fears of an escalating trade war roiled Asian markets, hitting the share prices of steelmakers and manufacturers supplying US markets particularly hard.

Trump doubled down amid the firestorm yesterday, tweeting that "trade wars are good, and easy to win" and proposing "reciprocal taxes" on all goods from exporting countries which place duties on imports of U.S. products. Trump later boasted that trade wars are "good, and easy to win".

At North American trade talks in Mexico City, Republican Representative Kevin Brady, the top U.S. lawmaker on trade policy, said the administration should exempt current aluminum and steel contracts to avoid business uncertainty. Introducing trade barriers on a tit-for-tat basis has the potential to harm companies on both sides.

However, US allies such as Canada and South Korea account for a larger share of American steel imports than China.

Ms Malmström told the BBC: "We are looking at possibilities to retaliate, meaning we will also put taxes or tariffs on United States imports to the European Union". Meanwhile, they may also face retaliatory tariffs from foreign countries against the goods they export, hurting their ability to sell overseas.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker told German television that the EU will put tariffs on "Harley-Davidson, bourbon and blue jeans". According to research from Cambridge University, there is a consensus among economists that this trade war exacerbated the Great Depression. "We expect USA major trade partners' reaction to be moderate, including by taking cases to the WTO".

He added more details in an interview with CNN: "Canada's 40 per cent of the (American aluminum) market". This can not be a unilateral transatlantic action by the Americans.

Beijing has an array of high-profile targets for retaliation including suppliers of soybeans, the biggest American export to China.

Last year's trade data showed that mainstay shipments to the United States all fell sharply.

"There would be no unemployment that would result from this because we're in a tight labour market", the official said. It pledges to prevent Beijing from disrupting global trade.

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