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United States trade groups urge Trump to avoid tariffs against China

20 March 2018

U.K. Trade Secretary Liam Fox said he urged US officials to reconsider imposing steel and aluminum tariffs on the European Union this week, suggesting the move has upset America's allies more than the main culprit for overcapacity, China.

A Taiwanese delegation led by John Deng (鄧振中), Taiwan's top trade negotiator, departed Sunday for the United States with the aim of seeking an exemption from the Donald Trump administration's new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

The letter is the latest example of the growing division between the Trump administration and the business community over trade policy.

"These procedures will allow the Administration to further hone these tariffs to ensure they protect our national security while also minimizing undue impact on downstream American industries", Ross said.

The order has also opened the door to the country's security and trade partners that want to get tariff waivers, as long as they can offer satisfactory alternatives during their talks with the U.S. Trade Representative office.

Trade groups have maintained their campaign to dissuade Trump from pressing ahead, arguing the tariffs would expose American companies to "a chain reaction of negative consequences".

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Among other things, the USA administration had accused Beijing of forcing USA companies to turn over proprietary commercial information and intellectual property as a condition of operating in the Asian nation.

Trump recently announced sweeping tariffs of 25 percent on imports of steel and 10 percent on aluminum.

"We urge the administration to take measured, commercially meaningful actions consistent with worldwide obligations that benefit U.S. exporters, importers, and investors, rather than penalize the American consumer and jeopardize recent gains in American competitiveness", they said.

"Save manufacturing jobs and say no to steel tariffs", the ad says. To apply the tariff on those imports seems a "trifle unusual".

The U.S. Department of Commerce has issued an interim final rule outlining requirements for U.S. manufacturers to apply for exemptions from the Trump administration's tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

After placing tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, Mr. Trump is reportedly considering tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese goods, covering electronics, apparel and footwear and some transportation equipment.

United States trade groups urge Trump to avoid tariffs against China