Global trade secretary Liam Fox criticises Trump administration over steel tariffs

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Mr Trump has linked this to a new security agreement between the USA and Australia, which already have close military ties.

But European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem later tweeted: "No immediate clarity on the exact U.S. procedure for exemption however, so discussions will continue next week".

In imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, President Trump said the USA military should be as self-sufficient as possible.

Trump said he would temporarily exempt Canada and Mexico from global steel and aluminium tariffs while the three countries negotiate a new NAFTA deal.

"Canada's brutal. Canada's really tough", Trump said during a rambling speech on behalf of a Republican candidate, Rick Saccone, who is running in Tuesday's hotly contested special House of Representatives election in western Pennsylvania. And I don't mean Obama - I mean all of them.

The administration has grown increasingly concerned about steel. In an average month, China's government-owned companies produce almost as much steel as the US does in one year.

Trump set import tariffs on Thursday of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, to come into force in 15 days, though Washington opened the way to some exemptions the following day after pressure from allies.

For the U.S., Trump has long touted and tweeted that economy will see big gains from the move, as he throws a lifeline to domestic manufacturers.

Those two countries were excluded due to "shared" commitments on national security and the reduction of excess production of steel worldwide, a provision aimed mainly at state-backed Chinese companies that Trump blames for having flooded the world with cheap steel. "Although a broad trade war is unlikely, confrontation over single products will increase", Huo Jianguo, a former director of a ministry research institute, told the South China Morning Post.

President George W. Bush levied tariffs of 8 percent to 30 percent on steel imports in March 2002, and they had slight positive impact on our declining steel industry employment - for about a year.

Within hours of Trump's tariff pronouncement, leaders of several foreign countries denounced it and threatened tariffs of their own on American goods, chiefly agricultural products.

In the sound-bite realm of Trump's brain, putting tariffs on steel and aluminum is a tremendous idea. For example, Sasol estimates that the $11 billion ethylene cracker and downstream chemical complex it is erecting in Lake Charles, La., will require 58,400 metric tons of the metal. I had the occasion to say that the European Union would react adequately and that's what we will do. It agrees with ACC that the tariffs will be harmful to competitiveness.

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said that, if talks to secure exemptions failed, Brussels would impose countermeasures. Free Trade Agreement as well as talks on cost-sharing for the US military presence. In some cases, such as aircraft made by the Brazilian company Embraer, the US allows products to be partly manufactured overseas, as long as they are finished domestically.

Will the Indian economy be impacted?

And so, a reckless combination of state ownership and massive government funding has led to a glut of steel being continually shipped to the USA - and often at below the cost of production.