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Trump Says Australia to Secure Exemption From US Tariffs

Trump Says Australia to Secure Exemption From US Tariffs

But they appeared to win no quick concessions.

Brussels has gone the furthest in fighting back against Washington's shock measures, loudly announcing a list of U.S. products to hit with countermeasures if its exports are affected by the tariffs. Japan has warned of the dangers of tit-for-tat measures.

Under World Trade Organization rules, such counter-measures have to be in place within 90 days of the USA tariffs entering force.

Experts fear the move could spark a trade war between the European Union and the USA after EU chiefs threatened to react firmly with WTO-compatible countermeasures against the US.

Lighthizer did not make any immediate comment after the meetings.

"Our trade relationship, as the president acknowledges, is a fair and reciprocal one", Turnbull said. "It will all work out!"

Her words echo those of Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo who said last week Mexico also believed the steel tariffs had nothing to do with the NAFTA talks.

Trump insisted in a phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron - a leading European Union player staunchly opposed to the tariffs - that the "decision is necessary and appropriate to protect national security".

The White House is now clearly avoiding that kind of talk: "We will have ongoing discussions with Canada and Mexico", a senior White House official said in a pre-announcement briefing. The UK would face higher USA tariffs for its exports and UK consumers would have to pay more for USA products we value and want. "Big Deficit. If not, we Tax Cars etc. FAIR!"

That his newly announced steel and aluminium tariffs - designed in particular to target Chinese steel dumping - will also hit European Union continental steel and aluminium exporters has brought the wrong response from Juncker.

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Key U.S. trading partners and businesses have warned the tariffs could backfire, provoking a trade war and hurting allies like the European Union and Japan more than China, their main target.

"As a close security and trade partner of the U.S., the European Union must be excluded from the announced measures", she tweeted after bilateral and trilateral meetings.

Trump has floated the idea of a 25 per cent tariff on steel and a 10 per cent tariff on aluminum.

The EU insists that it is committed to open, global trade.

The European Commission, which coordinates trade policy for the 28-nation EU, the world's biggest trading bloc, has said it is ready to impose safeguards, tariffs or quotas to protect its own steel and aluminum industries from products diverted to Europe because of the USA measures.

Turnbull went a step further, telling reporters in South Australia on Saturday that he was "very pleased the President was able to confirm that he would not have to impose tariffs on Australian steel and aluminum".

Canada is the No. 1 seller of both steel and aluminum to the U.S.

Trump pushed back as he visited western Pennsylvania, in the heart of USA steel country, where he boasted of his tariffs and denounced low-quality imports.

The EU has warned that it stands ready to slap "rebalancing" tariffs on about 2.8 billion euros ($3.4 billion) worth of US steel, agricultural and other products, like peanut butter, cranberries and orange juice.