Canada lucky to 'escape the guillotine' on Trump's tariffs: Frank McKenna

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting in the White

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting in the White

While China accounts for just a small portion of US imports, the Trump administration has said it diverts its shipments of the metals through other countries on the way to the U.S.

"Tariffs can be an appropriate punitive tool when people are cheating the system, however, I'm not sure the administration has thought this through", he said.

Trump on Thursday pressed ahead with slapping import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent for aluminum, effective later this month.

White House officials even say the specifics of the plan remain fluid and it's unclear when they will be finalized.

He said the tariffs would also hurt the US auto industry and result in higher costs for consumers on both sides of the border.

Trump says a 25 percent tariff will be added to steel and a 10 percent tariff will apply to aluminum. But they've stalled over tough US demands, including the administration's insistence that more auto production be shifted to America.

On April 27, 2017, President Trump directed the Department of Commerce to undertake an investigation under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 in order to determine the national security implications of steel and aluminum imports.

Trump said on Twitter he looks forward to the meeting, tweeting, "We have to protect & build our Steel and Aluminum Industries while at the same time showing great flexibility and cooperation toward those that are real friends and treat us fairly on both trade and the military". Other countries would have to negotiate with US Trade Representatives (USTR) if they want exemptions from the steel and aluminium import tariffs.

US thinking about further tariffs on Chinese consumer goods and investments

Congressional Republicans and business groups are bracing for the impact of the tariffs, appearing resigned to additional protectionist trade actions as Trump signals upcoming economic battles with China.

Trump predicted the former Goldman Sachs executive would eventually return to his administration.

Canada's ambassador to Washington dined this week with USA national-security adviser H.R. McMaster. "We're not trying to blow up the world". Although the measure is created to hit China, its main impact will be on U. A White House official said Trump was referencing an ongoing investigation of China in which the US trade representative is studying whether Chinese intellectual property rules are "unreasonable or discriminatory" to American business.

"Many members said they had fears of tit-for-tat retaliation which could spiral out of control", the trade official told reporters.

The White House is now avoiding that kind of talk: "We will have ongoing discussions with Canada and Mexico", said the official. That scenario, Tom Donohue said, would endanger the economic momentum from the GOP tax cuts and Trump's rollback of regulations.

In a media briefing, he expressed frustration at the way the tariffs have been characterized, referring repeatedly to the "fake news", the lobbyists and the "swamp things" that he said exaggerated the ill effects while fighting the measures.

But the same official said it truly is a matter of national security - with six US aluminum smelters shutting down the last few years, and just five remaining, and only two operating at full capacity, he said that leaves the U.S.at risk of having to import all its aluminum eventually.

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