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Battle Lines Are Being Drawn After Trump's Tariffs Announcement

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Original Post

By Stuart Burns

It wasn't long after President Donald Trump's tariffs announcement was made that battle lines started to be drawn.

President Donald Trump has spoken to world leaders about his planned tariffs on steel and aluminum. According to Reuters, quoting Commerce Secretary Wilbert Ross this weekend, the president is not considering any exemptions to the 25% import duties on steel and 10% import duties on aluminum. Despite concerns being raised that the imposition of the import tariffs will spark tit-for-tat retaliation by America's trading partners, the president so far seems adamant there will be no special carve-outs by country of origin.

However, Kevin Brady, chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, while speaking on the sidelines of the latest round of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) talks among the United States, Canada and Mexico, is quoted by Reuters as saying that all fairly traded steel and aluminum should be excluded from the proposed tariffs. Brady specifically called out materials supplied by NAFTA partners Canada and Mexico, saying material supplied from elsewhere could also qualify for exemptions.

Meanwhile, Bill Pascrell, the senior Democrat on the Ways and Means trade subcommittee, said "We don't have a major trade deficit with Canada, if you look at all the products that are coming into the United States from Canada and Mexico, this is an ally. If we can't make an exception there, then how are we going to get a NAFTA deal?"

The answer may be NAFTA could be allowed to fail.

Renegotiation talks have already dragged on since August without much progress. Pascrell is probably right that application of the full tariffs to Canada and Mexico will result in NAFTA falling apart, which has led many to posit that although the president is playing hard ball at

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Comments (1)

I hope the SEC looks into Icahn sales.
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