WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and trade (all times local):
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro says President Donald Trump’s planned steel and aluminum tariffs won’t have any exemptions for certain countries.
Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Navarro says: “At this point in time there’s no country exclusions.”
American allies including Canada have protested the planned protectionist move by the president, saying they shouldn’t be covered by Trump’s planned 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent on aluminum.
The Pentagon recommended “targeted” tariffs, so as not to upset partners. But Navarro says Trump decided on wide-ranging import charges because he seeks to boost American manufacturers.
“As soon as you exempt one country, then you have to exempt another country,” Navarro says.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says “I believe so” when asked whether President Donald Trump will make a formal announcement this week about trade penalties on imported steel and aluminum.
There’s been speculation Trump may consider exempting some U.S. allies. But Ross says, “As far as I know he’s talking about a fairly broad brush. … I have not heard him describe particular exemptions just yet.”
Ross is dismissing the fallout from potential retaliation by the European Union.
He tells ABC’s “This Week” that “sure there may be some sort of retaliation, but the amounts that they’re taking about are also pretty trivial.” He says the EU has threatened tariffs on billion-plus worth of U.S. goods.
In Ross’ words: ‘Overall it’s not going to be much more than a rounding error.”
Few issues could blur the lines of partisanship in Trump-era Washington.
Trade is one of them.
President Donald Trump’s announcement that he’ll impose stiff tariffs on imported steel and aluminum has labor unions and liberal Democrats in the unusual position of applauding his approach.
Republicans and an array of business groups are warning of dire economic and political consequences if he goes ahead with the trade penalties.
Trade politics often cut along regional, rather than ideological, lines. That’s because politicians reflect the interests of the hometown industries and workers.
But rarely does a debate open so wide a rift between a president and his party — leaving him almost exclusively with support from his ideological opposites.