Trump hits European Union on trade days after imposing new tariffs

Hope Hicks told House Intelligence Committee she was hacked

"The president can do exemptions and my expectation is there may be some other countries that he considers in the next two weeks", Mnuchin said in an interview with broadcaster CNBC. "Europe is certainly not a threat to American internal security so we expect to be excluded", European trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said in Brussels. According to him, the country of the maple leaf is a "reliable ally" of the USA, but "solid" in his decision to protest against the imposed tariffs in the case of their distribution in Canada.

Lighthizer didn't comment publicly after the meetings.

Since his announcement of new steel and aluminum tariffs, President Donald Trump has argued the move is necessary to safeguard American workers and bring back jobs.

As Trump vows to sign new bilateral treaties and amend the North American Free Trade Agreement, congressional leaders could seize the moment to reaffirm their role in U.S. trade policy.

But most analysts think China will manage to reroute aluminum to other countries exempt from Trump's tariffs.

Senator Jeff Flake said he would introduce a law to nullify the tariffs, while Republican chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Orrin Hatch, also criticised the tariffs, but said he would work with the White House to "mitigate the damage".

Trump signaled yesterday he'd hold the exemption as a bargaining chip to play if he didn't get what he wants for the US out of the NAFTA negotiation.

"Ideally, some of them will be dealt with in this 15-day process so that they don't hit those countries", Mnuchin said, citing the legal time frame for implementing the tariffs.

But Newport said the new tariff structure will leave the USA better equipped to combat the dumping of excess steel capacity on the global market. "Working very quickly on a security agreement so we don't have to impose steel or aluminum tariffs on our ally, the great nation of Australia!" "It's certainly going to be chaotic".

China's steelmakers were among the major beneficiaries of a government drive to reduce excessive capacity in traditional industries, with shares in some of the biggest players including Hesteel and Baoshan Steel rising at least 17 per cent past year.

Trump first drew the link between the metals tariffs and NAFTA on Monday in a Twitter message.

Countries could challenge Trump's action in the World Trade Organization, putting this worldwide forum in the uncomfortable position of determining what is in the "essential security interests" of the USA, in accordance with an existing agreement on tariffs and trade.

China's steel and metals associations urged the government to retaliate, citing imports from the U.S. ranging from stainless steel to coal, agricultural products and electronics.

"National security is paramount, but we should not undercut our key trading partners and strategic allies with broad-based tariffs that raise taxes on American consumers and close markets for USA products", she said in a statement released Friday. "We are extremely anxious about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan", stated his press aide.

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin called the tariffs "a very risky action" that could put agricultural and manufacturing jobs in his state and across the country at risk.

In one alleged example of haphazard policy-making, a report this week said the president raised the tariff rates for branding purposes, increasing them from the 24 and 7 per cent recommended by the Department of Commerce - because he wanted nice, round numbers.

The European Union said it could respond with their own tariffs for American products which would include oranges, bourbon, denim, cranberries, peanut butter and motorcycles.

Terry Day, local president for the United Steelworkers union, said the 1990s shutdowns convulsed the community and resulted in a spate of suicides and divorces.