Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

No trade-off for tariff deal with US: Steve Ciobo

Protectionist Trump tariffs'offend Germany Protectionist Trump tariffs'offend Germany
Patty Aguilar | 11 March, 2018, 05:21

"Europe is certainly not a threat to American internal security so we expect to be excluded", European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said in Brussels.

Shortly after Trump's tweet, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Twitter that the relationship between the two allies was fair and reciprocal.

Turnbull confirmed the phone call and said he had a "very good and productive discussion" in which he reminded the President of the two countries' strong military alliance and the "very fair and reciprocal" nature of the trade relationship between the U.S. and Australia.

Australia will be exempt from U.S. steel or aluminium tariffs once President Donald Trump signs an executive order, Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed.

"I was very pleased the president was able to confirm that he would not have to impose tariffs on Australian steel and aluminum and of course now the legal paperwork", said Turnbull. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference that Japan's steel and aluminum shipments posed no threat to US national security.

There were no strings attached to the settlement, the PM said.

On Thursday, Trump approved a plan to levy a 25 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent on aluminum.

The tariffs are due to take effect within weeks.

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Australia buys around 60 per cent of its military assets from the USA, allows US marines to rotate through Darwin every year, and swaps intelligence as part of the "Five Eyes" alliance also including Britain, New Zealand and Canada.

The New York Times reported United States trade representative Robert Lighthizer will be in charge of deciding which countries benefit from an exemption.

"We have a very good relationship with Australia", Trump told reporters in Washington.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, US Ambassador Joe Hockey and other senior members of government argued Australia should be let off the hook because of its strong military and security ties to the US.

Chalmers said that, with tariffs still being imposed on other countries, Australia now had to be vigilant to make sure those countries did not redirect their steel to Australia and dump cheaper steel in the local market.

The Australian government's urgency rose after the USA president announced that he meant to enact the tariffs as a remedy to trade imbalances.

"I've seen some, frankly, incredibly wild theories emanating from all quarters including some journalists who should know better", he told ABC TV.

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