Trump likely signing steel, aluminum tariffs this week, White House says

Global Business

(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 2, 2018 The United States Steel Corporation plant stands in the town of Clairton, Pennsylvania. US employers hungry for qualified workers are raising wages at an increasing pace while the cost of goods is rising nationwide, according to a Federal Reserve survey released on March 7, 2018. Steel prices are also mounting due to a drop in competing imports, according to the survey, even as the White House plans to impose steep tariffs on imports to support US producers. (AFP PHOTO / SPENCER PLATT)

Trade tensions are going global, with U.S. President Donald Trump again taking aim at China, while Europe is pushing back against American tariffs on steel and aluminum that the White House said will soon be signed.

CGTN’s Nathan King has the details.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said on Wednesday that President Trump is expected to “sign something by the end of the week.” Those measures, however, will contain “carve-outs” based on national security considerations that may exempt Mexico, Canada and other countries, according to the secretary.

The European Union, not knowing how its member nations will be impacted by the tariffs, earlier outlined American products that may be subject to retaliatory measures. The list appears to target industries and regions that are important bastions of support for Trump.

“There are steel products, there are industrial products, and there are agricultural products,” EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said. “Certain types of bourbons are indeed on the list, as are other items such as peanut butter, cranberries, orange juice, etc. Very soon that list will be public, so you will be able to plan your whiskey drinking.”

White House officials may need a stiff drink of bourbon after reading what President Trump tweeted earlier in the day, once again taking aim at China and its trade deficit with the United States.

The President has been lashing out at both trading allies and competitors in recent days, falsely saying that the U.S. is losing in trade to everyone.

This may have proved too much for Chief Economic Adviser Gary Cohn, who submitted his resignation Tuesday. Cohn, formerly a high-ranking Goldman Sachs executive, led the fight inside The White House not to impose broad tariffs. He was considered one of the few global free traders left in The White House, and is now one of the many senior officials who have left.

On Wednesday, the Dow opened 300 points lower on the news of his resignation, but rebounded and closed the day down 82 points.

Policy analyst Simon Lester explains the impact of Trump’s trade tariffs

CGTN’s Mike Walter spoke to trade policy analyst Simon Lester about President Trump’s steel tariff decision. Lester works with the CATO Institute’s Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies.