Published: Wed, July 04, 2018
Finance | By Kristine Clayton

Largest US business group attacks President Trump on tariffs

Largest US business group attacks President Trump on tariffs

Early last month, Mexico imposed tariffs on USA products ranging from steel to pork and bourbon, while the European Union levied duties of 25% on €2.8 billion of United States imports, including jeans and Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

And he is pressuring Canada and Mexico to agree to rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement to shift more auto production to the United States and encourage companies to move investment from Mexico to the United States.

The EU has threatened the United States with countermeasures worth $294 billion if the Trump administration imposes further tariffs on European cars as a result of the ongoing investigation into whether they pose a possible threat to national security.

Trump's trade policies are unpopular among US voters as well, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Monday.

ASIA'S DAY: Asian markets tumbled in the morning as back-and-forth exchanges over looming U.S. tariffs added to worries over the trade war brewing between China and the U.S. Hong Kong's Hang Seng, reopening after a market holiday on Monday, closed 1.4 percent lower at 28,545.57 as investors reacted to weaker than expected Chinese economic data. "But we've put on these unilateral tariffs", said Warner, principal at MAAW Law, in an interview with BNN Bloomberg Tuesday.

The business lobbying group says farm states and states with large vehicle production plants will be particularly vulnerable.

Michigan's auto industry, steel products and aluminum products are the hardest hit by tariffs.

Meanwhile, the European Union argued that the US's comparably low auto import tariff was countered by higher rates on other vehicles, such as lorries. Farmers will pay dearly for 25 percent retaliatory tariffs on soybeans, which China plans to impose on Friday.

Starting Friday, the USA will tax 818 Chinese products, worth $34 billion a year, from the original list.

Trump has sparked a global trade conflict by placing or threatening punitive tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of goods from China, Mexico, Canada, and the European Union.

Many are targeted specifically at states that have been supportive of Trump. For instance, one of Trump's top targets - Canada - imposes average tariffs of 4.2%, compared to the US's 3.5%. Retaliatory tariffs would cost billions and kill thousands of jobs.

Trump's views on tariffs have been a sore subject, even among fellow Republicans who have criticized Trump's imposition of steep tariffs against USA allies.

579,300 SC jobs are supported by worldwide trade, the Chamber estimates.

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