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President Trump Imposes Steel and Aluminum Tariffs on Key U.S. Trade Partners; U.S. Pork Exports Among List of Potential Products to Face Retaliatory Measures

Friday, June 1, 2018

(North American Meat Institute)

The Trump administration imposed 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent duties on aluminum imports from three key trading partners - the European Union (EU), Canada and Mexico - after failing to reach deals with them to address national security concerns related to the imports. All three trading partners were previously granted temporary exemptions from the tariffs.

Canada and Mexico have threatened retaliation, with Mexico indicating it intends to levy duties on certain U.S. pork products. More details will be provided as they become available. The EU, meanwhile, notified the World Trade Organization of plans to levy duties on $7.1 billion worth of U.S. exports in response to the tariffs, with the aim of collecting $1.6 billion in revenue.

According to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, the U.S. had intended to address its concerns with Canada and Mexico in the context of ongoing efforts to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), but those talks have stalled in recent days. Some progress was reportedly made in negotiations with the EU, but not enough to warrant a permanent exemption or another temporary exemption, the administration said.

The Trump administration imposed the tariffs on imports from most other U.S. trading partners earlier this year, after determining the imports threatened national security by undermining domestic production in those sectors. South Korea, Australia, Argentina and Brazil previously won permanent exemptions by agreeing to quotas on their exports.

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