The Wall Street Journal is publishing a report the European Union is likely to lose their exemption on Friday June 1st, from the U.S. Steel (25%) and Aluminum (10%) tariffs. Despite their article outline almost everything is still speculation at this point; however, our own review of the trade position indicates the administration is very prepared to begin delivering the metal tariffs on all nations, including NAFTA partners, without reservation.
President Trump positioning the auto-industry 232 review, May 23rd, was one of the key ‘leverage signals‘ something was about to change.
Despite massively one-sided EU imposed tariffs against U.S. products, the EU is demanding to be permanently exempted from any U.S. reciprocal tariff measures or they will block the import of U.S. products. The hypocrisy is typically European.
Adding fuel to the speculation the tariff exemptions will be allowed to expire Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross stated earlier today, at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) summit – a multinational trade conference, that any/all trade discussions are entirely possible regardless of whether the U.S. begins the tariff against steel and aluminum imports.
WSJ – […] Mr. Trump has threatened to punish EU car exports if the bloc retaliates, and Mr. Ross is pursuing a study of car and auto-part imports similar to the one he completed on steel and aluminum.
Officials in some EU member states are already angry at Washington over Mr. Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal. Still, others, including some German officials, want to seek a solution that prevents economic damage.
French President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday the EU shouldn’t respond to pressure with weakness.
“The day before an important decision I want to repeat this: Unilateral responses and threats of trade war resolve none of the serious imbalances in global trade,” Mr. Macron said at the gathering with Mr. Ross. “A trade war is always a war lost by everyone.”
“Independently of this decision we must do everything to protect our interests and act with self-confidence and yet preserve free trade as much as possible,” said Peter Altmaier, Germany’s minister of economic affairs, following a meeting with Mr. Ross.
Mr. Ross said in Paris that “every country’s primary obligation is to protect its own citizens and their livelihoods.” (read more)
Expanded discussion segment: