Trump threatens China with tariffs on $267 billion in goods

President Donald Trump on Friday threatened to hit Beijing with tariffs on $267 billion in goods, a move that would expand the growing trade war to cover virtually everything the United States currently imports from China.

Speaking to reporters on Air Force One, Trump said his administration has the latest round of tariffs ready and that he’s prepared to impose them "on short notice.”

Those penalties, if imposed, would come on top of tariffs the administration has already implemented on roughly $53 billion in Chinese imports and on $200 billion that are expected in the coming days.

“The $200 billion we’re talking about could take place very soon, depending on what happens with them,” Trump said, indicating he might be open to some sort of a negotiated solution if Beijing were willing to make concessions. “To a certain extent, it’s going to be up to China.”

Then he Continue reading “Trump threatens China with tariffs on $267 billion in goods”

Trump expected to put Congress on NAFTA alert Friday

The Trump administration is gearing up to notify Congress on Friday that it plans to sign an updated NAFTA agreement later this year — either with or without Canada.

U.S. trade officials resumed talks with Canada on Friday morning. The Trump administration has yet to get Ottawa on board after nailing down a preliminary two-way pact with Mexico, but sources close to the negotiations said U.S. negotiators are working to try to send Congress formal notification of an agreement that includes both Mexico and Canada. The notification will likely be sent in the form of a letter to lawmakers from U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who said earlier this week that notification would be made on Friday.

Officials are under pressure to send the notification on Friday at the latest because it would allow them to sign a deal on Nov. 29, a day before Mexican President Continue reading “Trump expected to put Congress on NAFTA alert Friday”

Trump tariffs on Canadian newsprint to be reversed

An independent trade panel on Wednesday derailed the Trump administration’s push to impose tariffs on imports of newsprint from Canada, handing a significant win to U.S. newspapers, union groups and scores of lawmakers who pressed for the change.

The 5-0 decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission marks a significant win for newspapers that were reeling from increased costs of up to 30 percent for a core product. It also removes a prominent thorn in the bilateral relationship between the United States and its northern neighbor and comes as the two countries are working to resolve differences in NAFTA talks by the end of this week.

“Today is a great day for American journalism,” said David Chavern, president and CEO of the News Media Alliance, in a statement. “The ITC’s decision will help to preserve the vitality of local newspapers and prevent additional job losses in the printing Continue reading “Trump tariffs on Canadian newsprint to be reversed”

Trump tariffs on Canadian newsprint to be reversed

An independent trade panel on Wednesday derailed the Trump administration’s push to impose tariffs on imports of newsprint from Canada, handing a significant win to U.S. newspapers, union groups and scores of lawmakers who pressed for the change.

The 5-0 decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission marks a significant win for newspapers that were reeling from increased costs of up to 30 percent for a core product. It also removes a prominent thorn in the bilateral relationship between the United States and its northern neighbor and comes as the two countries are working to resolve differences in NAFTA talks by the end of this week.

“Today is a great day for American journalism,” said David Chavern, president and CEO of the News Media Alliance, in a statement. “The ITC’s decision will help to preserve the vitality of local newspapers and prevent additional job losses in the printing Continue reading “Trump tariffs on Canadian newsprint to be reversed”

Mexico, U.S. may be heading toward NAFTA deal amid Trump’s global trade war

President Donald Trump could be poised to make a deal with Mexico on NAFTA even as he engages in a trade war with the rest of the world.

Mexican Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo arrived in Washington on Wednesday — as he has every week for the past month — to hammer out some of the most contentious issues on NAFTA. U.S. and Mexican officials now say they could be on the verge of announcing a preliminary agreement on everything from complicated automotive rules to environmental regulations by the end of August.

The apparent turnaround after months of stalemate is a surprise outcome of discussions reaching their year anniversary on Thursday. And while the two sides have yet to bring Canada, the third partner in NAFTA, into the latest round, the negotiators’ optimistic tone could signal that Trump may be ready to extinguish at least one trade conflagration before the Continue reading “Mexico, U.S. may be heading toward NAFTA deal amid Trump’s global trade war”

No aid planned for other sectors hurt by trade war

President Donald Trump’s top trade official took heat from Republican and Democratic lawmakers after he said the administration is not currently considering providing federal aid to small businesses, manufacturers or any sector of the economy, aside from farmers, that might be hurt by the trade war.

At a hearing on Thursday, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) asked whether U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer was currently considering providing other businesses assistance similar to the $12 billion aid package to the agriculture sector.

"Not at this time, no," Lighthizer replied.

Many lawmakers, including those in politically crucial Midwestern states, have criticized the unpredictable nature of the administration’s approach to trade and remedies being provided to those hurt by retaliation. Trump is traveling to Iowa and southern Illinois on Thursday in an effort to shore up his base there.

In Washington, Lighthizer was grilled over the specifics of which groups could Continue reading “No aid planned for other sectors hurt by trade war”

Trump says no new tariffs against EU after parties agree to trade negotiations

President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that the United States will pause its plans to impose new tariffs against the European Union and work to resolve existing differences over trade in an attempt to avoid a full-blown trade war.

The "new phase" in the trade relationship between Washington and Brussels comes after Trump met with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who traveled to the White House with his team to attempt to head off potential tariffs on U.S. imports of autos and auto parts.

In a joint statement in the Rose Garden, Trump and Juncker also announced that the two trading partners will work to eliminate tariffs on all non-auto industrial goods, increase cooperation on energy purchases and work together to reform the World Trade Organization.

"This will open markets for farmers and workers, increase investment, and lead to greater prosperity in both the United States and the European Union," Continue reading “Trump says no new tariffs against EU after parties agree to trade negotiations”

Trump’s new midterm threat: A trade war smacking voters

President Donald Trump’s trade wars could become a major political drag for Republicans, with job losses and price increases piling up just as voters head to the polls in November.

Trump jolted markets once again early Friday when he said he’s prepared to impose penalties on some $500 billion in Chinese goods regardless of the consequences that might ensue, economic or political. “Look, I’m not doing this for politics,” the president said on CNBC. “I’m doing this to do the right thing for our country.”

But market analysts, industry experts and economists warn that the economic fallout of the president’s tariffs — those that are already in effect and those he’s threatening to impose — is only going to intensify over the coming months and could reach a peak around election time.

“We’re already hearing complaints now from companies, so by the time we get to the midterms, you’re Continue reading “Trump’s new midterm threat: A trade war smacking voters”

‘This would widen the trade war tenfold’: U.S. automakers say no to Trump’s car tariffs

President Donald Trump says he wants to save the U.S. auto industry by slapping tariffs as high as 25 percent on foreign-made cars, but there’s a problem: Automakers don’t want his help.

The White House thinks the penalties would encourage domestic investment and automotive production and support U.S. workers — and Trump is pressing his staff to speed up the move so he can claim credit for it before the midterm elections.

But America’s carmakers, including Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler, are wary as they watch what’s happening to other companies caught in Trump’s trade war, such as Harley-Davidson. The motorcycle-maker suddenly found the European Union imposing tariffs on its U.S.-manufactured products after Trump instituted penalties on steel and aluminum from Europe. And Trump began attacking the company on Twitter this week after it announced it would move some jobs abroad to avoid the fallout.

Continue reading “‘This would widen the trade war tenfold’: U.S. automakers say no to Trump’s car tariffs”

Trump blasts Harley-Davidson’s decision to shift production overseas

President Donald Trump sharply criticized American motorbike manufacturer Harley-Davidson’s decision today to shift some of its production overseas, a move the company said it is making in order to avoid the president’s tariffs.

"Surprised that Harley-Davidson, of all companies, would be the first to wave the White Flag," Trump wrote on Twitter.

The post came after the company earlier today said it will be shifting production to its international facilities of motorcycles that are headed to Europe in order to avoid paying a 25 percent tariff on its way into the European market. Brussels levied that penalty in response to Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Harley-Davidson said the duties mean an increased cost of $2,200 on each motorcycle heading into Europe, which is the company’s largest market.

Trump noted in his post that he "fought hard for" Harley-Davidson and that "ultimately they will not pay tariffs selling into Continue reading “Trump blasts Harley-Davidson’s decision to shift production overseas”

Lawmakers step in to restore U.S. ties to Canada after Trump-Trudeau spat

Senators are stepping in to shore up relations with the United States’ closest ally after President Donald Trump and his administration launched a war of words — and tariffs — against Canada.

Just days after White House trade adviser Peter Navarro asserted that there is “a special place in hell” for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the top Canadian diplomat visited Capitol Hill on Wednesday to meet behind closed doors with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at the request of Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the panel’s chairman.

The White House decision to impose steep duties on imports of steel and aluminum from Canada was the primary focus of the meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, which was planned before the events of the last week. The Trump administration justified those tariffs by saying the imports pose a national security threat to the United States — an explanation that Continue reading “Lawmakers step in to restore U.S. ties to Canada after Trump-Trudeau spat”

Navarro: Harsh comments against Trudeau were a ‘mistake’

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Tuesday walked back his comments over the weekend saying that there was a "special place in hell" for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, acknowledging that his language was "inappropriate."

"Let me correct a mistake I made," Navarro said at a conference in Washington hosted by The Wall Street Journal’s CFO Network.

“My mission was to send a strong signal of strength,” he said. “The problem is that in conveying that message I used language that was inappropriate.”

Navarro exacerbated bilateral tensions between the U.S. and Canada on Sunday when he criticized Trudeau for double-crossing President Donald Trump. Navarro’s comments came after Trudeau said Canada would stand firmly against tariffs that Trump plans to impose on Canadian steel and aluminum.

"There’s a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad-faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and Continue reading “Navarro: Harsh comments against Trudeau were a ‘mistake’”

Trump officials kick into damage-control mode with Canada

A day after President Donald Trump and his top advisers went on the attack against Canada, members of his Cabinet are taking steps to preserve and strengthen ties with the U.S.’ nearest ally.

In one step of the change in tone, the Department of Agriculture announced Monday that Secretary Sonny Perdue would head to Canada later this week to meet with his counterpart Lawrence MacAulay.

The trip and photo-op is intended to showcase ongoing cooperation between the two countries on agriculture — and it will fall amid repeated criticism from Trump himself about Canada’s high tariffs on U.S. dairy products in particular that enter the Canadian market.

In addition, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro further antagonized relations when he remarked on Sunday that “there’s a special place in hell” for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who he said engaged in “bad-faith diplomacy” with Trump.

Larry Kudlow, Continue reading “Trump officials kick into damage-control mode with Canada”

Foreign leaders stop playing nice with Trump on trade

Frustrated foreign leaders who failed to stop President Donald Trump’s protectionist trade policies are trying one last-ditch negotiating tactic: a real trade war.

Canada, Mexico and the European Union have pledged to slap penalties on billions of dollars of American goods in the coming weeks on items ranging from orange juice to Harley Davidsons to aftershave.

Their moves are a tit-for-tat response to Trump’s own decision to impose steep duties on those countries’ steel and aluminum exports, and they show just how deeply the president’s combative stance has altered global alliances built over decades. Foreign leaders are hoping a slowdown in the U.S. economy and loss of American jobs will persuade Trump to change his mind.

“I think there’s a resignation,” said Tony Fratto, a former Treasury Department and White House official under George W. Bush. “You’re not going to do it with words, so you have to do Continue reading “Foreign leaders stop playing nice with Trump on trade”

NAFTA on the brink as Trump fights with Mexico, Canada

The White House launched a round of strong-arm tactics Tuesday when Vice President Mike Pence called Justin Trudeau and issued an ultimatum: A reworked NAFTA deal would need to be renewed every five years. In response, Trudeau canceled a trip to the U.S.

Then on Wednesday, the Trump administration announced surprise steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico. And on Thursday and Friday, President Donald Trump bashed Canada’s trade practices.

The White House is hoping the campaign of aggression will cause Canada and Mexico to cave as talks to renegotiate the 25-year-old NAFTA agreement are plagued by standoffs and delays. But instead, the moves could backfire as Canada and Mexico retaliate with their own tariffs, leading to a stalemate that would result in Trump pulling out of NAFTA altogether.

Even by the most optimistic calculations, only a few weeks remain before a window closes for lawmakers to consider Continue reading “NAFTA on the brink as Trump fights with Mexico, Canada”

Poll: Voters want trade deals, not tariffs

A huge majority of U.S. voters would prefer that President Donald Trump focus more on negotiating new trade agreements rather than imposing tariffs on foreign imports, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll released Thursday.

The poll of nearly 2,000 registered voters found that 70 percent of them would prefer the Trump administration focus more on "negotiating trade agreements to open new markets to sell American-made products and goods." Only 14 percent, in contrast, answered that they would prefer the administration focus on "imposing tariffs or taxes on foreign products to slow down their sales in the United States."

When voters were asked which they would prefer Congress focused on, the numbers were similar: 67 percent wanted lawmakers to focus on negotiating new deals, while 16 percent said they would prefer they focus on imposing tariffs.

The poll was conducted when trade tensions with China in particular Continue reading “Poll: Voters want trade deals, not tariffs”

The guide to schizophrenic U.S.-China trade relations

The White House’s announcement Tuesday morning to move forward with tariffs and import restrictions on China is the latest in a series of tit-for-tat trade actions that President Donald Trump and top members of his administration have taken.

The move reignites trade tensions once again between the world’s two largest economies and comes as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is preparing to go to Beijing later this week for further talks that were supposed to be geared toward reducing the bilateral trade deficit between the two countries that Trump has long sought to narrow.

His trip also comes at a time when the administration has been in a hot-and-cold relationship with Beijing. Here’s a look at some of the interactions the Trump administration has had with China over trade in the past several months that have led up to this point:

Trump hits China with $50B tariffs, investment restrictions

President Donald Trump is moving ahead with steps to protect U.S. intellectual property by punishing China with broad investment restrictions, litigation at the World Trade Organization and hefty tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods.

The move, which the White House announced Tuesday morning, comes just over a week after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the trade war between the two countries was “on hold” and will ratchet up tensions just before Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is set to arrive in Beijing this week for further talks.

Beijing has already pledged to retaliate against the 25 percent tariffs, which the White House said will specifically target Chinese imports “containing industrially significant technology, including those related to the ‘Made in China 2025’ program.” The list of targeted goods will be announced by June 15 and imposed shortly after, the White House said.

The investment restrictions and strengthened export Continue reading “Trump hits China with $50B tariffs, investment restrictions”

NAFTA’s long road to completion

NAFTA’s long road to completion