The Latest: China criticizes US on trade, silent on tariffs - InfoNews

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The Latest: China criticizes US on trade, silent on tariffs

President Donald Trump speaks to Dave Burritt of U.S. Steel Corporation during a meeting with steel and aluminum executives in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Thursday, March 1, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
March 01, 2018 - 8:08 PM

WASHINGTON - The Latest on President Donald Trump and trade penalties on steel and aluminum imports (all times local):

11 p.m.

China has expressed "grave concern" about a U.S. trade policy report that pledges to pressure Beijing but had no immediate response to President Donald Trump's plan to hike tariffs on steel and aluminum.

The Commerce Ministry said Friday that Beijing has satisfied its trade obligations and appealed to Washington to settle disputes through negotiation

The ministry said China "expresses grave concern" about a U.S. trade policy report issued Thursday that accuses China of moving away from market principles and pledges to prevent Beijing from disrupting global trade.

However, there was no immediate response to Trump's announcement that he will increase duties on steel and aluminum imports. Chinese officials have threatened to take "necessary measures" to defend their country's interests.

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3 p.m.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says the EU will take retaliatory action if President Donald Trump goes ahead with his plan to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Juncker says, "We strongly regret this step, which appears to represent a blatant intervention to protect U.S. domestic industry."

He says Europe "will not sit idly while our industry is hit with unfair measures that put thousands of European jobs at risk."

Juncker is vowing that "the EU will react firmly and commensurately to defend our interests."

The Commission, the EU's executive body, will make public in coming days the retaliatory action it plans to take. Juncker says the steps will be compatible with World Trade Organization rules.

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2:45 p.m.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says President Donald Trump's decision to impose tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum "shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone."

Sanders says Trump has been talking about it "for decades." She says the president is acting out of concern about Americans "who have been forgotten."

Trump is planning penalties of 25 per cent on imported steel and 10 per cent on aluminum imports. The president says the tariffs will remain for "a long period of time."

Sanders is declining to provide details on the tariffs, such as whether any U.S. trading partners might be exempted from the penalties.

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12:35 p.m.

President Donald Trump has told steel and aluminum executives that he'll impose import tariffs 'next week' in a bid to boost U.S. manufacturers.

His words to the executives: "You will have protection for the first time in a long while."

The president spoke at a hastily called meeting White House after hours of confusion over what — if anything — he was going to announce.

Trump tells reporters the import tariffs will be 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum.

Trump ordered a Commerce Department review of imports of both metals last year. He has until April to formally decide whether to support the department's recommendation to impose tariffs.

The move has raised concerns that it could launch a trade war with China.

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10:50 a.m.

President Donald Trump is bringing steel and aluminum industry executives to the White House on Thursday amid speculation he may impose tariffs or quotas on steel and aluminum imports.

It was unclear what Trump may announce amid internal wrangling on the decision. Thursday's event caught some top White House officials off guard and left several aides scrambling for details. That's according to a person familiar with the process who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe internal deliberations.

Trump tweeted Thursday that many U.S industries, including steel and aluminum "have been decimated by decades of unfair trade and bad policy with countries from around the world. We must not let our country, companies and workers be taken advantage of any longer. We want free, fair and SMART TRADE!"

Plans for Trump to announce a decision Thursday were thrown into doubt amid internal wrangling over the issue.

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8:55 a.m.

A White House official says President Donald Trump plans to announce Thursday whether he'll impose tariffs or quotas on steel and aluminum imports.

Increased foreign production, especially by China, has driven down prices and hurt American producers.

Trump defended the U.S. steel and aluminum industries in a tweet Thursday, saying they "have been decimated by decades of unfair trade and policy with country from around the world" and that "We want free, fair and SMART TRADE!"

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross last month offered Trump three options, including tariffs on all steel and aluminum imports from all countries, tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from some countries, or quotas on steel and aluminum imports from everywhere.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the White House hasn't announced the president's decision.

—Associated Press writer Darlene Superville.

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7:40 a.m.

President Donald Trump is defending the U.S. steel and aluminum industries as he faces deadlines on whether to impose tariffs or quotas on imports of both products.

Increased foreign production, especially by China, has driven down prices and hurt American producers, and the Commerce Department calls the situation a national security threat.

Trump tweets that many U.S industries, including steel and aluminum "have been decimated by decades of unfair trade and bad policy with countries from around the world. We must not let our country, companies and workers be taken advantage of any longer. We want free, fair and SMART TRADE!"

Trump has to make decisions on steel by April 11 and on aluminum by April 19.

News from © The Associated Press, 2018
The Associated Press

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