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Trump announces tariffs on steel and aluminum

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Thousands of Australian and USA jobs could be affected if the proposed tariffs take in local exports. But he showed more leniency than initially thought.

According to a Reuters report on Thursday, officials in both Canada and Mexico indicated they wouldn't be pressured by tariff threats as NAFTA talks continue.

Mr Trump said the tariff hikes ordered yesterday were needed to protect United States national security by ensuring the survival of the country's metals producers.

While this may keep trading partners from unleashing immediate retaliation, it could all backfire by antagonizing American allies.

"The loss of exports to the US, combined with an expected massive import surge in the European Union could cost tens of thousands of jobs in the European Union steel industry and related sectors", Eggert said.

On Wednesday, Sanders told reporters that exemptions to the 25 per cent steel tariffs and 10 per cent aluminum tariffs would be made on a "case by case" and "country by country" basis.

Trump kept Canada and Mexico as potential tariff targets because that served US interests in winning concessions in ongoing NAFTA negotiations.

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

Congressional GOP leaders have signaled they want to narrow the administration's steel and aluminum tariffs before they are implemented, the same day President TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out "subversion" at VA MORE pushed forward with the measures despite widespread GOP backlash.

The president, who called aluminum and steel "the backbone of our nation", further contended that the policy marks an end to the "betrayal" of American workers.

"By these tariffs going into place, it gives us the ability to come back to 100 percent capacity", said one steel worker from Kentucky. "We want our workers to be protected and we want, frankly, our companies to be protected".

Trump says his tariffs, which exempt Mexico and Canada, fulfill a campaign promise.

The tariffs would "seriously impact the normal order of global trade", China's commerce ministry said.

China was quick to respond to Trump's announcement.

On Friday last week, when Australia was taken by surprise by Trump's announcement that he wanted to impose tariffs, trade minister Steve Ciobo warned that Australia reserved the right to doing anything necessary to protect the national interest if it wasn't exempted from the tariffs.

Seko said Japan's steel exports to the United States, used for automobile manufacturing, are "contributing greatly to the US industry and (the creation of) jobs".

Talk of tariffs has raised the prospect of a global trade war and hit stock markets hard.

Countermeasures would include European tariffs on U.S. oranges, tobacco and bourbon, he said.

"German industry is extremely concerned about the decision of the USA government to imposed far-reaching punitive tariffs". Japan will continue to speak to the US about being excluded, trade minister Hiroshige Seko said separately. "As of yet, we've heard from ministers that they're concerned about this, but no real plan in terms of what they're going to do". He enacted the tariffs using a rarely used legal provision that allows the president to impose tariffs unilaterally if imports are determined to pose a national security risk.

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