Trump ‘will not back down’ on steel and aluminium tariffs

7 Mar 18

US president Donald Trump has said he will not back down on plans to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, following ‘trade war’ concerns from Republicans.

The president stated on Monday that he would not change his mind on the proposed 25% tax on steel imports and 10% on aluminium, despite a drop in the stock market.

Republicans have raised concerns that the plans could spark a trade war and US speaker of the house Paul Ryan said he was “extremely worried” and called for the plans to be scrapped.

Trump said in response to the concerns: “We’re not backing down.”

The White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee also said on Monday that the president was “very confident” the US would win any trade war.

The response was made just an hour after Ryan issued a statement, via his spokesperson AshLee Strong, saying: “We are extremely worried about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan.”

The European Union has also said it would put taxes or tariffs on US imports to the union, if the US goes ahead with the plans.

Levi jeans and Bourbon from the US could see a rate of 25% import tax imposed by the bloc if Trump continues with his tariffs on European steel and aluminium, the BBC reported.

EU commissioner Celilia Malmstrom told the BBC the items were on a draft list of US goods to be taxed. She said: “We are looking at possibilities to retaliate, meaning we will also put taxes or tariffs on US imports to the European Union.”

China and Canada have also threatened tariffs in response to Trumps plans. This could hurt the US exports of beef, corn, pork, cars and motorcycles. But Trump has said he would then hit European cars with taxes as well.

UPDATE 09/03/2018:

Since this story was written, Trump has signed an order for the metal tariffs to go ahead.

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