How Donald Trump's tariffs morphed from 'no exemptions' to carve-outs

Mexico relieved, still wary about NAFTA effects

Mexico relieved, still wary about NAFTA effects

(1/2)", the Commissioner in charge of European Union trade, Cecilia Malmstrom tweeted after the meeting, and added, "As a close security and trade partner of the United States, the European Union must be excluded from the announced measures.

Australian Minister for Trade and Investment Steven Ciobo denied that Australia struck a security agreement with the U.S. to get exempted from tariffs on steel and aluminium announced by President Donald Trump.

At the same time, Trump's decision to exempt Canada and Mexico and allow other countries to avoid the penalties if they negotiate a deal to address US national security concerns has set off a high-stakes rush among nations eager to avoid the penalties but unclear on what, exactly, the USA wants in return.

Seko said he believed there was still time for Japan to secure an exemption. China has repeatedly vowed to defend its "legitimate rights and interests" if targeted by USA trade actions. Talks would continue next week. While the Trump highlighted the nations' military and trade relationships, Turnbull moved to clarify Trump's comment about a new "security agreement", saying the president was referring to the legal paperwork that would lock the exemption into place.

"We call for calm-headed behaviour", he told reporters.

Mr Trump said in a tweet his administration was "working very quickly on a security agreement" so it didn't have to impose the steel or aluminium tariffs on Australia.

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"He only explained the schedule and the procedures", he said.

"But of course the European Union also continues the preparations to ensure a firm and proportionate response in line with the WTO rules in the event United States measures should be applied", he added. "We will look at the impact onJapanese businesses and make a final decision".

The jab from Brussels came after the United States tycoon singled out Europe in the surging trade row, threatening to tax German cars if the European Union doesn't lower barriers to USA products.

Vapour pours from a steel mill chimney in the industrial town of Port Kembla, about 80 km (50 miles) south of Sydney July 7, 2011.

Failing to include the national security adviser in talks on tariffs would seem highly unusual, given Trump's argument that weakened USA steel and aluminum industries would threaten national security.

The visit had been planned for weeks as a follow-up discussion on over capacity, seen by observers as a swipe at China.

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Trump cited national security concerns as the legal basis for the tariffs, a permissible reason under WTO rules.

Even with an exemption for Australia ("mates rates"), the reprieve will not be worth it if a Trump-induced global trade war breaks out.

"This is not a trade negotiation", he said.

President Trump is correct to impose steel tariffs to help the USA maintain its long-standing position as an industrial leader.

It has already started monitoring incoming metal flows to see whether a surge occurs.

"As long-standing security partners of the United States, (the European Union and Japan) underlined to ambassador Lighthizer their expectation that European Union and Japanese exports to the USA would be exempted from the application of higher tariffs", an European Union statement said after the talks.

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