“Never seen the Queen have a better time”

I realise this is just the way he talks, but…

Asked “did you or did you not fist pump with the Queen?”

I did not but I had a relationship. We had a really great time.

There are those who say they have never seen the Queen have a better time and more animated time.

We had a period where we were talking solid straight. I didn’t even know who the other people at the table were, never spoke to them.

We just had a great time together.

She’s a spectacular woman, an incredible woman.

On immigration from Mexico.

But we shouldn’t have anybody. they shouldn’t be able to walk through Mexico, and now I’ve told Mexico if you don’t stop this onslaught, this invasion, people get angry when I use the word invasion. People like Nancy Pelosi, honestly they don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.

I watch her, she was saying we have to protect Mexico, we have to take care of Mexico. Look. I’m dealing with Mexico now. They send in five hundred billion dollars worth of drugs. They kill a hundred thousand people. They ruin a million families every year. If you look at that that’s really an invasion without the guns.

 

“What could you do to unite the country in a time of great polarisation? What else could you do”

So I think success should unite the country, but I will tell you the more successful we’ve come the more angry people like Nancy Pelosi who don’t have what it takes. They don’t know what’s going on. They get angry.

They should, an example is Mexico. I said we’re going to put tariffs on because we want you to help us with, because they won’t pay us any legislation in congress.

And I have senators, and others, and Pelosi coming out and saying how horrible. What they’re doing is hurting a deal.

A deal to Trump is him saying what he wants and expecting to get it.

They should be saying they’re with the President, we’ll do whatever he wants to do, and Mexico will fold like an umbrella.

Now I have these people, and I’m saying there’s some Republicans too, they should be ashamed of themselves.

But we have Pelosi, we have crying Chuck Schumer who’s a disaster by the way, he’s a total political jerk.

The world’s best ever uniter speaking there.

But we have Schumer, we have all these people, they come out and they talk the tariffs, or this, they’re killing, you know they hurt my negotiation. Because I came into the room with the Mexicans asking for everything, and by the way if they don’t do it I’m putting the tariffs on, we’re going to make a fortune.

One thing with the tariffs, when those tariffs go on companies are going to start moving back once they know they’re going to stay on. Companies are going to move back to the United States. They took thirty two percent of our car industry. All, every single one of those plants will move back into the Unites States.

I thought the tariffs were to try to force Mexico into stopping the flood of people moving across into the US. It now sounds like that was just an excuse to move industry back to the US. Of course less jobs in Mexico and more jobs in the US will really address the problems that contribute to immigration.

If he talked to the Queen like he talked in that interview I’m sure she had the time of her life.

When Trump was in London he talked up the prospects of a trade deal with the UK. I wonder if that will work out like the deals he is doing with China and Mexico.

Ross Barkan, The Guardian:  Why Tariffs Could Be Trump’s Undoing

On Tuesday, Republican senators emerged enraged from a meeting with Trump, unwilling to stomach his threat to level tariffs as high as 25% on Mexican goods in retaliation for migrants crossing the border. Even Senator Ted Cruz, the former Trump punching-bag (“Lyin’ Ted”) who has since become a reliable Trump ally, railed against the proposed tariffs, calling them “new taxes” on Texas farmers, manufacturers and small businesses. Otherwise spineless Republican senators are having this change of heart because of an important political reality: tariffs will make goods more expensive in the states they need to capture in 2020.

Like Texas, Michigan would be hit hard by a trade war. Thanks to the automobile industry’s complex supply chains, it is the state most dependenton imports from Mexico – and, as Republicans know all too well, crucial to Trump’s re-election prospects.

Trump’s ongoing trade war with China has cost him political capital throughout the midwest, where farmers depend on imports and exports. His approval rating in Iowa has dropped a staggering 21 points since he took office. In Wisconsin, he’s lost 19 points, and in Ohio, 18.

Who pays the tariffs? The importing companies in the US, so the US consumers.

And imposing ad hoc tariffs to ‘fix’ immigration and move large industries back to the US are not going to have immediate results. It takes time to relocate large manufacturing plants to another country.

 

US-China trade war escalates

President Donald trump has escalated the US-China trade war in while negotiations continue. Playing hardball may be necessary to make decent progress, but it’s risky, not just for the US and Chinese economies, but for all those who trade with them as well, which is most of the world.

.Washington Times: No cheating on friends

A president who talks and acts tough on trade has been a long time coming. Donald Trump made getting fair dealing on trade a major plank in his campaign platform and has followed through. China can’t say it wasn’t warned about the imposition this week of additional tariffs on selected goods coming into the United States.

Bad trade deals have cost the United States billions of dollars and cost millions of American workers their jobs over the last several decades. Supporters of free trade find tariffs against China, Europe, Mexico and Canada hard to take. Tariffs are taxes hiding under another name and lead to higher prices for U.S. consumers. The stock market dropped 500 points after the new China tariffs were announced. Tariffs provide a safe harbor for inefficiencies, and protect markets and manufacturers from the need to innovate and increase productivity.

But as a short-term strategy to get the Chinese to the table to make agreements to protect American intellectual property, for example, it might be that rare occasion on which to do something bad so that good may come.

If it works.

RealClear Politics:  A Don Corleone Offer to China on Trade

You don’t have to like tariffs to like President Trump’s strategy of imposing harsh ones on China. Those he imposed overnight are punishing, not only to China but to American consumers. The longer they last, the more they will cost. Yet serious trade sanctions are the only hope of getting Beijing to roll back its abusive economic practices and open its markets to U.S. exporters and investors.

Half measures and paper promises won’t do. The U.S. wants a big deal, and it wants teeth in it to prevent cheating. To get it, Trump is willing to threaten a trade war. We don’t know if it will work.

We do know that Trump’s threats are credible. He began saying how much he loved tariffs long before he ran for office. The irony is that his protectionist stance could pave the way for freer trade, first with China and then with the European Union.

The problems may be clear, but the solutions are not. No previous administration has figured out how to move China away from its discriminatory policies. Sweet talk and generous gestures don’t work. If they did, President Obama would have succeeded, not only with China but with Iran, Russia, and other hostile powers. Empty threats don’t work either. If they did, several administrations would have gotten China to change its trade and investment practices long ago.

These failed policies don’t leave Washington with many options. The U.S. can either accept Chinese protectionism, as Europeans and previous U.S. administrations have, or it can make them an offer they can’t refuse. The terms are obvious:

  • Threaten China’s export-driven economy
  • Make that threat believable and sustainable
  • Offer China a reasonable deal
  • Make it costly for China to delay, and
  • Buttress the deal with tough enforcement mechanisms

Trump is taking the Don Corleone option. He acted swiftly and ruthlessly when Chinese trade negotiators withdrew concessions they had already made in writing. On Friday, he more than doubled tariffs to 25% on some $200 billion worth of Chinese exports, with promises of more to come.

Trump’s decisive move is directed at China’s economy, but it also sends a sobering message to North Korea’s nuclear negotiators. They are bound to see how costly it is to make empty promises to the Trump administration, as Kim Jong Un has done on denuclearization.

President Trump is forcing Xi to choose between two unhappy alternatives. That’s why he has thrown a severed horse head into the bed. Trump wants to force the issue and make it hard to resist the American offer. If he succeeds, he will present the deal as a huge win for both sides.

But dealing like this can have it’s risks, and it’s down sides.

Washington Post – Another View: Multi-front trade wars hurting U.S

News reports identify the Trump administration’s specific complaint as China’s alleged going back on its promises to put U.S.-requested policy changes into law. For their part, Chinese sources have told Western media that Beijing interpreted Trump’s complaints about purportedly tight Federal Reserve monetary policy as a sign of economic weakness that China could exploit.

It’s anyone guess what will come of the current meetings in Washington between China’s trade delegation and Trump’s team. What should not be in doubt, however, is that throughout the entire bargaining process with Beijing, the administration has undercut its position by attempting to wage simultaneous tariff battles with other countries.

As Chad Bown of the Peterson Institute for International Economics has shown, Trump’s tariffs now cover 50.5% of Chinese imports — but also 7.3% of imports from Canada, 2.5% of imports from the European Union, 9.6% of imports from South Korea and 3.8% of imports from Japan.

By bracketing old friends with Beijing, even justifying some levies against them (on steel and aluminum) on “national security” grounds, Trump has made it politically difficult for them to rally to the U.S. side in the dispute with China. They were, in fact, obliged to retaliate.

This unforced error is doubly regrettable because Trump arguably had the upper hand going into his talks with China.

In a world where Trump is deeply unpopular, his complaints — shared by previous U.S. presidents — against China represented a rare case in which other nations conceded him the moral high ground. A savvier president would take advantage of that.

The negotiations with China might yet reach a mutually beneficial conclusion, or they might collapse. Either way, Trump will have defied a lesson of history: Multiple-front wars are the hardest to win, whether they are of the military kind or trade wars.

Fighting without allies is harder still.

But for now the big battle is with China, and much will depend on how they react.

Reuters: Trump says no hurry to reach deal with China as trade war escalates

In a series of morning tweets, Trump defended the tariff hike and said he was in “absolutely no rush” to finalize a deal, adding that the U.S. economy would gain more from the levies than any agreement.

“Tariffs will bring in FAR MORE wealth to our country than even a phenomenal deal of the traditional kind,” Trump said in one of the tweets.

Despite Trump’s insistence that China will absorb the cost of the tariffs, U.S. businesses will pay them and likely pass them on to consumers. Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity.

Global stocks, which have fallen this week on the increased U.S.-China tensions, came under renewed pressure on Friday.

Following the U.S. tariff hike, China’s Commerce Ministry said it would take countermeasures but did not elaborate.

China’s central bank said it was fully able to cope with any external uncertainty.

China responded to Trump’s tariffs last year with levies on a range of U.S. goods including soybeans and pork, which has hurt U.S. farmers at a time when their debt has spiked to the highest level in decades.

Trump escalated the one way war of words. Much now depends on whether China responds by escalating the war of tariffs.

And how markets deal with the war. CNN: Dow Tanks After Trump’s Ballistic Twitter Rant Shellshocks Wall Street

The Dow’s weeklong catastrophe shows no signs of letting up, as the US stock market endured another shellacking at the hands of Donald Trump and his tariff regime on Friday.

The immediate trigger for Friday’s sell-off was the never-ending trade war teeter-totter, which continues to viciously seesaw between dizzying optimism and utter despair.

Less than a day after hinting that Thursday would be a “very strong day” for US-China trade negotiations, President Trump unleashed a ballistic Twitter rant in which he downplayed the need to “rush” into a trade deal.

Time will tell. Trump has a reputation for overstating his abilities and his tactics. Tweeting may be a useful tool for Trump, but like imposing tariffs it has risks.

What is not well known is how China will be approaching the current situation, as they operate far less publicly.

And a number of US businesses will be nervous about how all this will affect them.

Mixed trade deal and financial news

It is difficult to predict what the longer term effects of all this might be.

Whether trade deals or agreements can be reached between the US and Canada and also with China, and also with the EU, will make a difference. In the meantime, the trade wars over tariffs with US subsidies to compensate will continue to disrupt markets.

Trump threatens countries who don’t negotiate ‘fair trade’ deals with tariffs

The United States negotiated a wide ranging trade deal with eleven Pacific rim countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

Donald Trump withdrew the US as son as he became president. The eleven remaining countries went on to ratify the agreement without the US. Since then Trump has reconsidered – Trump Proposes Rejoining Trans-Pacific Partnership – but hasn’t done anything more than pontificate.

Trump has also attacked other trade agreements and trading arrangements, including with:

With all this chaos going on Trump has just issued another  threat:

Trump may succeed in bullying some countries into better deals for the US, but this ultimatum approach is not good for getting mutually beneficial and long lasting trade agreements.

And it is not good for international relations generally.

Playing the tough guy (except with Russia) may keep pleasing Trump’s dedicated base supporters,

And this is also having an impact on the US, with farm subsidies, already a major factor in trade issues, set to increase.

WSJ: Trump Administration to Offer About $12 Billion in Farm Aid to Ease Concerns Over Trade Disputes

The Trump administration on Tuesday is expected announce a plan to extend some $12 billion in emergency aid to farmers amid growing concerns that the U.S. agricultural sector could suffer from President Donald Trump’s escalating trade dispute with allies…

US agriculture has long been bolstered by subsidies and tariff protection – and still needs more aid to survive. Nuts.

WSJ: The Many Ways Trump’s Trade Disputes Are Affecting the Auto Industry

Auto-industry representatives are expected to argue during a U.S. Commerce Department hearing Thursday that President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs on auto imports would cost jobs and increase car prices.

The White House in May asked the Commerce Department to investigate whether it could use a national-security law to impose tariffs of up to 25% on imported vehicles and car parts. Mr. Trump has argued trade barriers are needed to pressure manufacturers to build more goods in the U.S. and expand factory jobs.

WSJ editorial: Trump Rides a Harley—to Europe

Donald Trump’s trade war has been an abstraction for most Americans so far, but the retaliation has now begun in earnest and the casualties are starting to mount. The President’s beloved stock market took another header Monday on news of more restrictions on investment into the U.S., and the Dow Jones Industrial Average is now down for 2018.

The rest of the world can’t avoid being affected by Trump’s trade interventions and tariffs, but at least they can trade amongst each other. In the meantime Trump is isolating the US, and burning a lot of diplomatic and good faith bridges.

Trump’s trade chaos could get very messy, and not just with trade wars.

Trump flames and shames on Harley Davidson

Donald Trump frequently uses high profile shaming, which is an abuse of power. When in response to the trade and tariff war started by Trump Harley Davidson announced they would move some manufacturing offshore to reduce loses due to tariffs Trump has given them a public bollocking.

Reuters:  Trump blasts Harley plan to shift U.S. production to avoid EU tariffs

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday slammed Harley-Davidson Inc after the motorcycle maker said it would move production for European customers overseas to avoid retaliatory tariffs that could cost it up to $100 million per year.

Harley-Davidson, the dominant player in the heavyweight U.S. motorcycle market said earlier on Monday it would not pass on any retail or wholesale price increases in the EU and instead focus on shifting some U.S. production.

Trump said he has fought hard for the company and was surprised by its plans, which he described as waving the “White Flag.”

“I fought hard for them and ultimately they will not pay tariffs selling into the E.U., which has hurt us badly on trade, down $151 Billion. Taxes just a Harley excuse – be patient!” Trump said in a post on Twitter.

Typically and also alarmingly:

Trump is trying to run a country with impulsive public announcements, flip flops, bullying, threatening, shaming and tantrums.

He seems to have no comprehension of the complexities of policies he promotes, nor does he seem to comprehend the inevitably of unintended consequences.

This may give him some successes, but with inevitable failures, and the number of people he pisses off growing, this could get very messy.

It is looking increasingly like Trump Deranged Syndrome.

Trump’s trade warmongering a risky game

It’s hard to know what is going to happen with world trade, with Donald Trump making heavy handed threats, partly retreating, then making more threats with a mist of both bullying and vagueness hovering over  it all.

Trump recently imposed steel and aluminium tariffs, citing national security. He talked tough.

Financial Times: Trump defends steel and aluminium tariffs threat with attack on EU

Donald Trump launched a fresh attack on the EU on Tuesday as he defended his plan for tariffs on aluminium and steel imports. Despite a growing Republican backlash against the tariffs, Mr Trump said he planned to impose them in a “very loving way” that would command new respect for the US around the world.

“The European Union has been particularly tough on the United States,” Mr Trump said. “They make it almost impossible for the United States to do business with them. And yet they send their cars and everything else . . .” The president repeated a threat of new tariffs on European car imports should the EU retaliate against his trade moves.

Republicans fear that any trade war that might ensue could undermine the economic benefits of last year’s tax cuts, ahead of November’s midterm elections.

In a letter to the president on Tuesday, Orrin Hatch, who chairs the Senate finance committee, said the proposed tariffs were akin to “harmful and unnecessary tax increases on American workers and consumers”.

Mr Trump insisted again on Tuesday that he was delivering on his campaign promise to protect American workers and companies from unfair foreign competition. But Republicans are trying to convince him that too broad an approach would hurt other steel and aluminium-using industries such as the drinks sector.

“This isn’t about backing down. This is about hitting your target,” Kevin Brady, chairman of the House ways and means committee, told CNBC.

But either Republican pressure or on a whim Trump has partially backed down, in the short term at least.

Reuters:  Trump temporarily excludes EU, six other allies from steel tariffs

In a presidential proclamation published late on Thursday, Trump said he would suspend tariffs for Argentina, Australia, Brazil, South Korea, Canada, Mexico and the European Union, the U.S.’s biggest trading partner, until May 1, 2018 as discussions continue.

After May 1, Trump would decide whether to permanently exempt the countries based on the status of talks, the White House said in a statement.

So Trump is all over the place. But not, on this, with New Zealand.

Stuff, March 12: New Zealand steel and aluminium exports pose ‘no threat’ to US: Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand has a “strong case” for an exemption from US tariffs, claiming steel and aluminium exports pose “no threat” to the world’s largest economy.

Ardern told reporters at her weekly post-Cabinet press conference that ministers were seeking an exemption from the tariffs “as we speak” and believed the case was strong.

“We have what I would characterise as an important and broad relationship with the US, not unlike Australia, so we believe we have a strong case for an exemption.

“I think that case is enhanced by the fact that we are clearly not a target here. Our exports of steel and aluminium are very small,” Ardern said.

New Zealand sent the US a letter asking to be exempted. Perhaps Ardern should have threatened via Twitter, but I doubt that Trump nor the republicans would care much about our tiny case.

Now Trump moves to crack down on China trade with $60 billion in tariffs on imported products

President Trump took the first steps toward imposing tariffs on $60 billion in Chinese goods and limiting China’s ability to invest in the U.S. technology industry Thursday, saying the moves were a response to Beijing’s history of forcing U.S. companies to surrender their trade secrets to do business in China.

The president directed U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer to announce within 15 days a proposed list of products to be hit with tariff increases. After a public comment period, the final list, designed to target Chinese products that benefited from improper access to U.S. technology, will be made public.

“We’re doing things for this country that should have been done for many, many years,” the president said before signing a memorandum setting in motion the trade actions.

The president blamed China for the loss of 60,000 factories and 6 million jobs, a number that most economists say blends the impact on U.S. employment of both Chinese competition and automation.

Trump said that unfair Chinese trade practices are responsible for the yawning U.S. trade deficit with China, which has reached a record $375 billion on his watch.

But China is fighting back in trade areas that the US is vulnerable.

CNBC: China responds to Trump tariffs with proposed list of 128 US products to target

  • China on Friday announced plans for reciprocal tariffs on 128 U.S. products that include pork, wine, fruit and steel.
  • Beijing said it will take measures against the U.S. goods in two stages if it cannot reach an agreement with Washington

China’s commerce ministry proposed a list of 128 U.S. products as potential retaliation targets, according to a statement on its website posted Friday morning.

Recent U.S. trade actions severely damage the multilateral trading system and disturb the international trading order, China’s commerce ministry said, urging Washington to resolve its issues with Beijing to avoid harming the bilateral relationship.

There’s some irony here regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The US joined the TPP in part to improve it’s influence in the Pacific trade region to combat China’s growing influence. Trump withdrew the US from the TPP as soon as he became president last year.

If the US-China trade war comes to actual blows, and the US imposes tariffs on member countries of the TPP (now signed by eleven countries as the CPTPP), this may strengthen China’s hand in the region.

To further confuse things – Mnuchin: US to consider TPP re-entry after other priorities

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says that the United States will consider rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership after it deals with other priorities.

The other priorities seem to be threatening tariffs and raising the prospects of trade wars.

Trump withdrew the U.S. from the agreement last year, but the remaining 11 members pressed ahead and recently signed a sweeping free trade deal in the Chilean capital.

Mnuchin said Wednesday that the Trump administration is focused on talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

That’s odd, because the two countries the US is renegotiating with, Canada and Mexico, are in the TPP. If they renegotiate NAFTA it could be difficult to then bring that in to the TPP.

Businesses like certainty on things like trade so they can plan into the future. US farmers need to know which crops are worth planting in future seasons. US car manufacturers would like to know how much their steel is going to cost. It may depend on which country they import steel from, and what Trump ends up deciding. Companies like Apple that do a lot of their manufacturing in China are likely to be anxious about the outcome of the escalating trade threats.

Things like international trade are a lot more complex than running a reality TV show where dramas every week keep the ratings up – and there a more than just one host running the world show.

Some things Trump does may turn out for the god of the US and possibly for the greater good, but there’s just as likely to be negatives, and one bad misstep could precipitate a major negative.

Stock markets often recover from temporary upheavals, but sometimes they don’t.

Express: Trump trade war threat sends world markets PLUNGING: Dow Jones, FTSE, Dax and CAC all drop

DONALD Trump’s trade war threats has caused a global stock market crisis with the Dow Jones, FTSE, Dax and Cac all plunging.

The US President is on the verge of slapping tariffs worth $60billion on China, sending investors fleeing towards safer currencies.

The levies for Chinese products would be the “first of many”, Mr Trump said yesterday as he confirmed they would be going ahead.

Reverberations have been felt throughout numerous stock markets.

The US share market steadily rose through last year, but since Trump has been throwing around trade threats and tariffs it has become a lot bumpier, and has dropped from it’s highs (and trump has stopped claiming credit for the trends).

Dow Jones over the last twelve months:

That shows a slight recover so far today after a significant trade war affected drop on Thursday. It shows a bumpy track over the last two months.

UPDATE: The Dow Jones finished the day down 1.77%, to a 3 month low.

Trump’s bluster and brinkmanship  is a very risky game.

 

 

Pushback against Trump’s tariff proposals

Widespread concerns over Donald Trump’s steel and aluminium tariff proposals, and the threat of a trade war, are so far being dismissed by the White House.

Politico: Frustrated White House free traders mount campaign to weaken Trump tariffs

Since President Donald Trump announced plans last week to hit steel and aluminum imports with new tariffs, his trade adviser Peter Navarro and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross have been all over television celebrating their victory and rebutting suggestions that the move would incite a damaging trade war.

But economic adviser Gary Cohn and other free-trade advocates inside the White House and the Treasury Department are mounting a last-ditch effort to blunt the impact of Trump’s head-turning decision, even as the president insisted Monday that he wasn’t going to be convinced out of it.

Cohn and like-minded officials in the administration are hoping the parade of senior GOP lawmakers, donors, lobbyists and business groups loudly opposing the pending decision will convince Trump that his proposed tariffs will damage the U.S. economy. There was a growing sense among some administration officials that the best way to talk Trump out of the tariffs was to make sure he hears from people outside of the White House, since he’s ignoring advisers inside the building.

RNZ:  Republicans ‘extremely worried’ by Trump’s metal tariffs plan

US President Donald Trump said on Saturday that steel imports would face a 25 percent tariff and aluminium 10 percent.

US Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said he was “extremely worried” about the impact of a trade war, adding that it could undermine economic gains.

But Mr Trump pushed back during a White House meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“We’re not backing down,” he told reporters on Monday. “I don’t think you’re going to have a trade war.”

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Monday that Mr Trump was “very confident” the US would win any trade war.

Mr Trump’s Monday comments came an hour after Mr Ryan released a statement urging the White House to reconsider its plan.

“We are extremely worried about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan,” Mr Ryan’s spokeswoman AshLee Strong said.

“The new tax reform law has boosted the economy and we certainly don’t want to jeopardise those gains.”

Many countries and trade groups have expressed concern, including the UK, EU, Canada, Australia (and New Zealand). And also the World Trade Organisation:

The World Trade Organization (WTO) on Monday also called on member states to “stop the fall of the first dominoes” of a trade war.

“Once we start down this path it will be very difficult to reverse direction,” WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo told negotiators in Geneva on Monday. “An eye for an eye will leave us all blind and the world in a deep recession.”

There is also pushback from within the US:  Companies, industry groups target Congress to derail Trump tariffs

Automakers, business groups and farmers took their fight against U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum to Capitol Hill on Monday, betting that Republican lawmakers would stand up to the White House on their behalf.

By turning to Congress, lobbyists for industries that could lose in a trade war are making a bet that Republican lawmakers would stick to their traditional support for open trade, and potentially use legislative power to derail tariffs.

Trump and administration trade officials over the weekend said they are determined to go ahead with protective tariffs for steel and aluminum, despite the potential for retaliation by trading partners.

Industry groups opposed to the tariffs got support on Monday from House Speaker Paul Ryan and other senior Republicans. Some Democratic lawmakers from auto-producing states have praised Trump’s move, joining unions long skeptical of open trade deals such as the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA).

Automakers are reaching out to senators and governors and asking them to make the case against tariffs to the White House, officials said.

Manufacturers of metal-intensive products such as cars and airplanes already are wrestling with rising prices for steel and aluminum, in part because of tight production capacity.

Administration officials in TV interviews over the weekend downplayed the impact on automakers as adding only up to about $200 to the price of a vehicle — a fraction of the average $35,000 sales price. However, Goldman Sachs said in a research report on Sunday that the tariffs could depress General Motors Co and Ford Motor Co’s adjusted operating incomes by $1 billion each.

Groups representing auto dealers weighed in to support the manufacturers. In a flattening auto market, headlines about trade wars and tariffs could cause Americans to put off buying new vehicles, said Cody Lusk, president and chief executive of the American International Automobile Dealers Association.

“Everybody is reaching out to their allies on Capitol Hill just to make sure they are aware of what’s at stake,” Lusk said.

Farm groups representing producers of wheat, corn and soybeans, the top U.S. crop exports valued at nearly $37 billion last year, joined criticism of the proposed tariffs on Monday. Farm groups had been among Trump’s core support group during the 2016 election.

This may all fall on deaf ears. Trump often seems intent on being a tough decision maker and seems obsessed by ‘winning’, and has said it would be easy to win a trade war with the rest of the world.

But he is losing support.

Trade war possible between Australia and US?

Donald Trump’s threat of steel and aluminium tariffs has sparked concern around the world, amongst allies as well as with trade competitors. Australia is showing some concern after earlier being assured of an exemption, with no clarification forthcoming from the US.

It looks like Trump makes things up as he goes, risking making major messes that may be difficult for his officials to clean up.

ABC News: Donald Trump promised Malcolm Turnbull Australia would be exempt from trade tariffs

Donald Trump “emphatically” promised to exempt Australian steel and aluminium from US tariffs during a meeting with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull last year, it can be revealed.

The ABC understands the promise was witnessed by high-ranking officials on both sides of the meeting, which was held on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, in July 2017.

Among those in the US delegation who saw the undertaking first-hand were US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Whitehouse Chief Economics Adviser Gary Cohn.

On the Australian side were Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet David Gruen.

This revelation explains why the Australian Government has been stunned by Mr Trump’s declaration last week that the tariff regime will be enforced, and subsequent statements by Mr Ross that country-specific exemptions are unlikely.

Sources have told the ABC Mr Trump’s promise was emphatic and that he instructed Mr Ross to work out the specifics to “make it happen”.

The Prime Minister and the Australian delegation was “absolutely certain” that a deal had been struck during the Hamburg meeting.

Trusting trump may have been naive.

news.com.au: Turnbull govt considering a ‘trade war’ with the US over steel and aluminium imports

LABOR has pledged support for the Turnbull government if it joins a trade war against United States President Donald Trump.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull discussed trade with Mr Trump in Washington last week but was given no assurances Australia would be affected badly by his trade policy.

In fact, the ABC reports Donald Trump “emphatically” promised to exempt Australian steel and aluminium from US tariffs during a meeting last year.

Australian Trade Minister Steve Ciobo at the weekend telephoned US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross but was unable to get any clarification. That was because at that stage even senior members of the Trump administration hadn’t been given the details of the President’s plans.

Mr Trump’s move move could ignite a trade war, with Europe already threatening to put levies on American goods. This could push up interest rates, rock the stock market, and add to global economic uncertainty.

Mr Trump is being told by many sources, including British Prime Minister Theresa May, who telephoned him at the weekend, that the tariffs would hurt America’s allies such as the United Kingdom, South Korea and Canada.

It appears that Trump doesn’t care about what US allies think of his proposed tariffs.

RNZ:  NZ to seek exemption from Trump’s steel tariffs

New Zealand will not be making any threats of retaliation against Donald Trump’s plan to put tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, Trade Minister David Parker says.

However, New Zealand would not be adding its voice to the criticism, with Trade Minister David Parker saying New Zealand will not be making any threats of retaliation.

“We wouldn’t be responding by the threat of trade retaliation ourselves, which I see has been the response of some countries,” he said.

“But we would certainly be advocating on behalf of the New Zealand steel industry that these tariffs if introduced [would] not apply to them

“We are of course a traditional partner of the United States, so we would be submitting to them that they shouldn’t be catching New Zealand steel exports in a regime like that if they introduced it.”

It’s hard to see That trump would care about steel trade with New Zealand.

‘Trade wars are good, and easy to win’

On Thursday Donald Trump announced that the United States would impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminium.

After a negative reaction around the world and on the US stock market, Trump has tweeted that ‘trade wars are good, and easy to win’.

Reuters: Trump tweets: ‘Trade wars are good, and easy to win’

Trump said on Thursday that the United States would apply duties of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum to protect U.S. producers, although White House officials later said some details still needed to be ironed out.

Fears of an escalating trade war triggered selloffs on Wall Street and in Asia and Europe, hitting the share prices of steelmakers and manufacturers supplying U.S. markets particularly hard.

Trump believes the tariffs will safeguard American jobs, but many economists say the impact of price increases for users of steel and aluminum, such as the auto and oil industries, will destroy more jobs than curbs on imports create.

Australia’s trade minister said the measures risked triggering retaliation from other economies and could cost jobs, on Friday, while China predicted harm to trade if other countries followed the example of the United States.

In Brussels, the European Commission called the step a blatant intervention that amounted to protectionism. However, while promising to act“firmly”, it made no mention of retaliation but instead spoke of counter-measures that conformed to World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

Brussels will join other countries in challenging the measures at the WTO and says it will also look into safeguard measures.

Reuters: Spooked by Trump tariffs, investors see few good options

The specter of a trade war started by U.S. President Donald Trump rattled Wall Street on Thursday and exacerbated worries about inflation and the future of a nine-year bull market.

The S&P 500 slumped 1.33 percent after Trump said the United States would impose duties on imported steel and aluminum, making good on promises to aggressively challenge China and other countries he blames for lost manufacturing jobs.

On Wall Street, Trump’s announcement exacerbated already-brewing concerns about inflation, which could push the U.S. Federal Reserve to hit the brakes in coming months on an expanding U.S. economy and spell the end to record-breaking stock price gains.

News of the tariffs drove the stocks of U.S. domestic steel and aluminum makers sharply higher, but the damage to stocks in other sectors was wide-ranging and illustrative of how broadly investors believe a trade conflict could damage the U.S. economy.

Halfway through Friday trading the Dow Jones was down further but had recovered slightly earlier in the day.

Investor’s Business Daily:  Sorry, Mr. President: Your Trade Protectionism Will Cost The U.S. Dearly

Protectionism is a political feel-good policy that does nothing for the economy. It’s a big cost with very few tangible benefits. That’s why President Trump has made a big mistake in imposing big tariffs on steel and aluminum.

We understand, of course, that President Trump feels beholden to his constituencies in the U.S. who have been hurt by foreign competition, particularly in basic industries like steel and aluminum. But the 25% tariff on steel and 10% tariff on aluminum that Trump seeks to impose will lead to higher prices for all, the loss of thousands of jobs and a political-crony windfall for a handful of big companies.

‘Political-crony windfall’ is becoming a familiar theme of Trump’s presidency.

WSJ: Trump’s Steel-Tariffs Plan Rattles GOP Lawmakers

Since he became president, Donald Trump’s threats to sanction global trading partners sent tremors through business-oriented congressional Republicans worried about how potential retaliation from abroad could reverberate through the businesses and farms in their districts.

On Thursday, the rattle turned into an earthquake.

WSJ: U.S. Allies Steel for Trump Tariff Tussle

President Donald Trump’s planned tariffs on steel and aluminum put U.S. allies around the globe in a tough spot, driving down stock prices and generating warnings of a possible international trade war.

UPDATE:

According to two officials, Trump’s decision to launch a potential trade war was born out of anger at other simmering issues and the result of a broken internal process that has failed to deliver him consensus views that represent the best advice of his team.

On Wednesday evening, the president became “unglued,” in the words of one official familiar with the president’s state of mind.

A trifecta of events had set him off in a way that two officials said they had not seen before: Hope Hicks’ testimony to lawmakers investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, conduct by his embattled attorney generaland the treatment of his son-in-law by his chief of staff.

Trump, the two officials said, was angry and gunning for a fight, and he chose a trade war, spurred on by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Peter Navarro, the White House director for trade.

In response to NBC News, another White House official said that the communications team “was well-prepared to support the president’s announcement” and that “many of the attendees had been in the White House before and had already been vetted for attendance at a presidential event.” A different official said of the decision, “everyone in the world has known where the president’s head was on this issue since the beginning of his administration.”

There were no prepared, approved remarks for the president to give at the planned meeting, there was no diplomatic strategy for how to alert foreign trade partners, there was no legislative strategy in place for informing Congress and no agreed upon communications plan beyond an email cobbled together by Ross’s team at the Commerce Department late Wednesday that had not been approved by the White House.

No one at the State Department, the Treasury Department or the Defense Department had been told that a new policy was about to be announced or given an opportunity to weigh in in advance.

The Thursday morning meeting did not originally appear on the president’s public schedule. Shortly after it began, reporters were told that Ross had convened a “listening” session at the White House with 15 executives from the steel and aluminum industry.

Then, an hour later, in an another unexpected move, reporters were invited to the Cabinet room. Without warning, Trump announced on the spot that he was imposing new strict tariffs on imports.

By Thursday afternoon, the U.S. stock market had fallen and Trump, surrounded by his senior advisers in the Oval Office, was said to be furious.