WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump administration’s decision to impose tariffs on aluminum and steel imports has dismayed trading partners and industries across the globe.
Officials warned Friday that the penalties may threaten wider economic ties. Businesses said they would jack up costs, raising prices for consumers and potentially putting people out of work.
Despite objections voiced by many business trade groups and lawmakers, the White House forged ahead Thursday with its plan to levy tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum.
President Donald Trump says the tariffs are needed to protect U.S. workers. They are scheduled to take effect in 15 days.
America’s neighbors indefinitely spared “to see if we can make the deal,” Trump said. He suggested in an earlier meeting with his Cabinet that Australia and “other countries” might be spared, a shift that could soften the international blow amid threats of retaliation by trading partners.
Those “other countries” can try to negotiate their way out of the tariffs, he indicated, by ensuring their trade actions do not harm America’s security.
Several industry trade groups said the tariffs could spark a broader trade war without resolving the problems they’re intended to address.
The president made his announcement the same day that officials from 11 other Pacific Rim countries signed a sweeping trade agreement that came together after he pulled the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership last year.
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