Published: Wed, June 06, 2018
Money | By Hannah Jacobs

Trade war: What you missed over the weekend

Trade war: What you missed over the weekend

President Donald Trump's administration last week imposed USA tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium from Canada - the No. 1 steel exporter to the United States - as well as on Mexico and the European Union.

About 90 percent of Mexico's $1.07 billion annual imports of pork legs and shoulders come from US suppliers and the country expects to import more from elsewhere to avoid pushing prices higher for the cuts used to make hams and other processed meats.

Mexico also vowed a tax-per-tax in response to the new steel levies but in addition to taxing steel, Mexico will place tariffs on lamps, pork legs and shoulders, sausages and prepared foods, apples, grapes, cranberries, cheeses and other goods.

More than backing off of those moves, the Koch groups said in a Monday statement of principles that the us should embrace new free trade deals by updating the North American Free Trade Agreement and moving to forge pacts with the United Kingdom, the European Union, and Pacific Rim nations.

The Trump administration has signaled its willingness to reconsider the trade barrier, citing upcoming NAFTA negotiations as a key factor in whether they will repeal the tariff.


A new initiative, led by Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, Americans for Prosperity and The LIBRE Initiative, will spend millions opposing President Donald Trump's tariffs in support of free trade policies. Koch Industries is the United States' second-largest privately held company and makes everything from toilet paper to fertilizer. 'Big trade barriers against USA farmers, and other businesses, will finally be broken.

The Koch brothers have repeatedly found themselves at odds with President Trump, and recently announced an "aggressive" new campaign against his trade tariffs.

The group rejected "the protectionist measures of the United States government".

Analysts say the tariffs are created to hit US Republican strongholds ahead of mid-term elections in November.

What are tariffs? Taxes on products made overseas.


"Mexico has the right to take measures with equivalent commercial effects", the economy ministry said in a statement explaining the tariffs.

Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said last week in a televised interview that some targeted goods come from US districts that have key lawmakers who have been pointing out to the Trump administration the need to be careful in handling such trade decisions. Last week Washington said it was ending a two-month exemption it had granted to imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

Mexico - a net importer of United States steel - is also putting 25% duties on a range of American steel products.

Trump suggested last week that NAFTA could be replaced with two separate trade accords, one with Mexico and another with Canada. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told NBC's "Meet the Press" program in an interview that aired Sunday he sees the imports as "insulting".

"China behaves logically, because the United States trade deficit is the result of the inefficient American economy", the Russian academic opined.


"We are deeply saddened by this, as we miss David's insightful questions and his many contributions to Koch Industries", Charles Koch said in the letter.

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