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Australia 'Exempt From US Metal Tariffs'

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

06 April 2018

The Australian Government has secured an exemption from new US metal tariffs, Trade Minister Steven Ciobo has said.

Last month, US President Donald Trump announced a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum, with exemptions for Canada and Mexico. The Department of Commerce had concluded that steel and aluminum imports threatened US national security and recommended the imposition of trade restrictions.

During an interview with RN Breakfast, Ciobo said that the US administration had indicated that governments have until May 1 "to make the case" for exemptions. He added that Australia "has consistently done that."

Trump has said that any country with which the US has a security relations is "welcome to discuss with the US alternative ways to address the threatened impairment of the national security caused by imports from that country." Should Trump decide that such imports no longer pose a threat, he may remove or modify the restrictions imposed.

Ciobo explained that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has "secured an agreement with the US President that Australia will be exempt."

Ciobo said that while in most cases the US runs a trade deficit with other countries, it has a trade surplus with Australia. When asked whether Australia would receive a permanent exemption from the new tariffs because of this surplus, Ciobo replied that "that's the agreement that the President and the Prime Minister have."

TAGS: tariffs | Australia | Mexico | manufacturing | trade disputes | Canada | United States | import duty | trade

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