Trump Customs pays the world to reciprocate
03/4/2018 12:00 am
[rtl]Anna Swanson * Translated by Khaled KassemA day after US President Donald Trump attacked his country's trading partners by threatening to impose heavy and large duties on steel and aluminum, they responded similarly and promised revenge on luxury American goods such as jeans and Harley Davidson motorcycles.
This could turn into a wave of protests against US products, with other countries, including traditional allies, responding to Trump's plan to crack down on imports of minerals from abroad.
Canada, China and the European Union have said they will respond by customs duties that could lead to billions of dollars in US export losses. The cartoons hurt farmers and businesses that Trump has promised to protect and spark a trade dispute that could undermine Trump's goal of boosting US industry.
US companies are more involved with the global economy than ever before, and Trump is seeking concessions from trading partners to put their companies on a more competitive footing. Negotiators from Canada, Mexico and the United States recently met in the Mexican capital to discuss changes to the NAFTA agreement. Washington is trying to review a trade deal with South Korea, but the possibility of charging has complicated matters on both fronts.
Although the United States does not control the global economy, these fees, which will soon be imposed, may prompt other countries to challenge them at the World Trade Organization. If the organization rules against the United States, it will test Trump's desire to follow international trade rules.
The fees are based on a little-used clause that allows President Trump to restrict imports in an effort to strengthen his country's industrial base in the interest of national security. That authority is under scrutiny by the WTO, but more importantly, it will force other countries to follow America's example by using national security as a pretext to shut down their markets.
Technology, agriculture and other industries in America may lose their interests externally because countries seek similar barriers. Robert Shanks, Ford's chief financial officer, said the raw material markets had already begun to increase steel and aluminum prices in anticipation of Trump's decision to impose fees.
For its part, the European Union has announced a detailed three-phase plan to punish US trade of $ 3.5 billion, the same value of European steel and aluminum, which the Union expects to lose due to fees. Brussels has proposed imposing a tax on US luxury exports, in addition to the former orange juice, raspberry and rice. The EU could therefore take a decision to protect European metal producers from increasing imports and raise a case against America at the World Trade Organization.
A European official said the EU was ready to announce this for months and everything was in place for a quick and proportionate reaction. Analysts said the move was aimed at putting pressure on politically sensitive areas, where punitive response would have severe consequences for rural areas in favor of tramp, especially farmers.
Canada and Mexico ranked first and third among America's agricultural markets in 2016. South Korea is a large market for US meat, corn and fresh fruits. America exports cotton to Turkey, wheat and milk to Brazil, two major steel producers.
* The New York Times[/rtl]