Concern mounts as Trump sticks with tariff level

Trump rolling out big trade tariffs, sparing Mexico, Canada

Trump rolling out big trade tariffs, sparing Mexico, Canada

But in particular, the administration's correct decision to exempt Canada and Mexico from the new tariffs nearly assures that the policies will fail to meet the Department of Commerce's capacity targets for the steel and aluminum industries.

But the same official said it truly is a matter of national security - with six USA 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. He also reminded Trump that Canadian steel and aluminum are used to build American tanks and fighter jets.

The fight over tariffs comes amid intense turmoil in the West Wing, which has seen waves of departures and negative news stories that have left Trump increasingly isolated in the Oval Office, according to two senior officials speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal thinking.

"A skilled, trained workforce in steel is a crucial element of America's national security and must be protected", Trump said.

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his "deep concerns" in a telephone call with Trump, saying the tariffs "risk triggering a trade war, in which all affected countries would be losers", his office said.

"You've got to be able to make stuff in the United States". He said "many of the countries that have been the worst on trade and military" were countries that are our allies or liked to call themselves that. "I just want fairness".

Trump boasted last week that trade wars "are good and easy to win" after his surprise announcement to levy the tariffs on the two metals.

The renegotiation process for NAFTA "follows its course independently of this or any domestic policy measure taken by the United States government", the Mexican Economy Ministry said in a statement. Trump asked. "Bring your plant to the United States of America". Donald Trump replied with a counter threat: slapping tariffs on European cars.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Thursday he disagreed with the decision, but he did not go so far as to suggest action to undo the tariffs.

The prime minister is hoping the rumours are true.

Beijing, which until now had kept largely silent on the issue, sharpened its rhetoric significantly. "China would have to make a justified and necessary response".

"Especially given today's globalization, choosing a trade war is a mistaken prescription".

The outcome "is a step forward", Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement Thursday.

Hostility towards Europe was also expressed in remarks by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in comments to the Fox Business Network on Wednesday in which he responded to criticism that the tariffs, introduced under "national security" provisions of a piece of 1962 U.S. legislation, breached World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

The Commerce report recommended two tariff options to boost US capacity to 80 percent.

They also have expressed concerns that the new tariffs would amount to a tax hike on USA businesses and consumers just as they were celebrating a victory in passing last year's tax reforms.

Following the initial March 1 announcement of the tariffs, when the European Union raised the prospect that it could impose retaliatory measures, Trump responded in a tweet last Saturday: "If the EU wants to further increase their already massive tariffs and barriers on U.S. companies doing business there, we will simply apply a tax on their cars which pour into the US".

"We urge you to reconsider the idea of broad tariffs to avoid unintended negative consequences to the USA economy and its workers", 107 House Republicans wrote in a letter to Trump.

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