Cartoons: Will Trump's tariffs launch a trade war?

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The EU exported about 5.5 million tons of steel to the USA past year.

On Thursday, Beijing warned it would make a "justified and necessary response".

Trump made the announcement before signing the aluminum and steel proclamation, raising import tariffs to 10 and 25 percent respectively.

Canada supplies more than a sixth of all the steel that the USA uses and more than 40 per cent of its aluminum.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the US wants to negotiate exemptions for the tariffs before they take effect in two weeks, as pressure grows from allies who are threatening retaliation if the duties are applied to them. It's really an assault on our country.

Republican leaders on Capitol Hill have tried to persuade the White House against the decision for weeks, and many offered muted criticism Thursday - even though Trump campaigned heavily on a promise to raise tariffs in 2016. He has invited in steel an aluminum workers'.

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Instead, he said the tariffs would help American workers and there wouldn't be mass layoffs in industries that use cheaper steel and aluminum. Canada and Mexico were given exemptions while the renegotiation of a more US-friendly NAFTA deal is underway.

President Donald Trump rolled out the new steel and aluminum tariffs on Thursday. "I just want fairness".

That scenario, Tom Donohue said, would endanger the economic momentum from the GOP tax cuts and Trump's rollback of regulations. "We'll take no deal rather than a bad one".

She said her meeting with Mr Lighthizer, the U.S. trade representative, was scheduled "many months ago" to address, among other things, global steel overcapacity.

"The reality is that the real friends are going to be those who are willing to partner with us on national security issues and also look to make sure there is free and fair and reciprocal trade", White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short said in an interview on Bloomberg TV on Friday.

The White House said Wednesday that Mexico, Canada and other countries may be spared from tariffs under national security "carve-outs".

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Disagreement within the White House over the announcement reportedly led to the resignation Tuesday of Trump's chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn.

But he also continued to frame the exemption as conditional on reaching an updated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that better favors the United States.

He repeatedly argued that exemptions would throw the whole thing out of whack, saying that "as soon as you exempt one country, then you have to exempt another country".

With that as a bargaining chip, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he has a "level of confidence" that Canada will secure an exemption but that he will take it "one step at a time", since he's dealing with an unpredictable USA administration.

Wait a second. First Trump says that these tariffs are being put in place as a national security measure.

"Many of the aluminum materials procured by USA customers from Japan are hard to obtain or switch (to) from other sources", the industry body said, warning that the import curb could have an adverse impact on the US industry.

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