June 01, 2018

BDI: The EU has the international law on its side

Federation of German Industries (BDI) President Dieter Kempf comments about the US customs on aluminium and steel

“US-President Trump risks a setback of the transatlantic partnership for many decades with the customs dispute he initiated. His uncompromising action is short-sighted and self-destructive. “Make America Great Again” does not work with protectionism. Trump puts supply chains at risk, endangers a lot of jobs in the manufacturing industries and raises the prices of products for American citizens. Trump’s protectionism will not make the American steel- and aluminium industry, which he wants to save, more competitive.

The EU must react cool-headed. The Union should carefully consider their announced countervailing duties. The EU-Commission has a range of instruments and options at its disposal to react effectively against this confrontation. The world’s largest economic zone has the international law on its side. That is why a WTO dispute settlement panel should be established, if the ongoing consultations are without a result. The primary objective should remain, that the US revokes its import restrictions on steel and aluminium. It is good, that protective measures for the steel industry are being assessed.”

Source: BDI

To read the BDI position paper on US Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum – click here

To access the BDI dossier on USA  click here

June 01, 2018

MEDEF: US taxes are a regrettable decision for the global economy

French Business Federation (MEDEF) regrets the US decision to impose taxes on European aluminum and steel

Beyond the trade tensions that this decision will induce, the United States sends a very bad signal to the world by turning its back on the international cooperation. Yet it is an essential factor to guarantee peace and stability.

Moreover, this decision violates the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) that govern international trade.

French and European companies need rules to operate. International relations cannot be dictated solely by the balance of power. It is by relying on international treaties that we can respond to the United States.

Pierre Gattaz, President of Medef said, “In face of the American desire to act unilaterally, I call on French and European policy makers to come together to provide a firm and proportionate response. This is a considerable challenge for our governments, but we must act together to show that we do not accept this dangerous policy for the global economy.”

Source: MEDEF

June 01, 2018

AiG CEO, Innes Willox on US Tariffs in interview to Sky News

Extract of Australian Industry Group’s CEO, Innes Willox’s answer to question on the latest tariffs from the US

JOURNALIST: … We’d really like to get your thoughts on the latest tariff announcement from President Trump. What have you made of it and the potential impact and whether it has implications for Australia.

WILLOX: The steel tariffs will have an impact in Australia, and part of the problem here is what we’re seeing out of the United States is some fairly inconsistent policy, some things happening one day and then the opposite happening the next. Promises being made and then not being delivered on.

We’ve had a lot of issues here with Australian steel producers exporting into the United States, trying to get guarantees around their market access. That still needs to be worked through and completely clarified. The most recent thing earlier this week was around auto parts manufacturers perhaps facing tariffs or closures or restrictions on their activities in the United States. These are not good messages for business around free flow of goods and services. It’s policy making which is really running contrary to what we’ve seen for a very long time. It sends messages to business that they need to be very careful, increasingly careful about their relationships with the United States because the ground is shifting all the time.

What this is going to do is really knock confidence out and around global trade, because you’re going to see retaliation. We’ve already heard that from the Europeans, we’ll hear from the Canadians, and yes that will flow through to Australia. These are messages coming out from the US which ultimately will be damaging to trade. How damaging, we don’t know.

We’ll just have to see what the retaliation is. At a time when the global economy overall is doing a bit better, we don’t need these sorts of messages to come out of one of the global trading power houses. It is going to impact on Australia, we just don’t know how, but it will, on Australian manufacturers and Australian exporters.

Read the full interview here

May 31, 2018

CCC: Immediate retaliatory action required in response to US steel and aluminum tariffs

Decision ignores truth about Canada’s relationship with the US and will hurt businesses

Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce issued the following statement in response to the US government’s decision to impose tariffs on Canada’s steel and aluminum industries:

“Today’s decision by the US Administration ignores the truth about Canada’s relationship with the US, will do nothing to address the issue of dumping, and will ultimately hurt businesses, jobs and the economies of both countries.

“The Canadian Chamber calls on the federal government to respond quickly and, in a manner, strong enough to obtain an exclusion for Canada. We need to act vigorously to support our domestic industries, and to send a message to the US Administration that their unilateral protectionist measures will not come without a serious cost to themselves.

“Canada is an ally, supplier to and customer of the US We are partners in NATO and NORAD. Our steel and aluminum industries are a source of critical supply for American manufacturers and its defence industry. Business, defence and political leaders of all stripes and on both sides of our border understand this and we remain grateful for the strong support they have shown.

“We applaud the Government of Canada’s work to date on behalf of our steel and aluminum industries and urge them to advocate for a reversal of these punitive measures. In the meantime, and in addition to implementing retaliatory measures in response to today’s US decision, we ask that the federal government continue its ongoing work to ensure that steel and aluminum are not dumped into Canada from third countries.”

Source: CCC

May 31, 2018

BusinessEurope: US duties – Bad news for the World Economy

EU should have a proportionate reaction to effectively defend its rights in a WTO conform way

Regrettably starting on 1 June, the EU will no longer be exempted from US additional duties and our steel and aluminum exports will be subject to additional tariffs of 25 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively.

Commenting on the US decision, Markus J. Beyrer, Director General of BusinessEurope, said: “This is bad news for European business, the transatlantic relationship and world trade. The European Union and its Member States did their outmost to show the EU is not part of the problem of overcapacity, while presenting a constructive and mutually beneficial negotiation agenda that included working together to reform and update multilateral trading rules. Europe and the US are facing the same problems and should join their forces to address them as like-minded partners, instead of imposing unjustified tariffs on each other.”

When asked about next steps, Beyrer added: “In view of the US decision the EU should have a proportionate reaction to effectively defend its rights in a WTO conform way. Global trade is currently under high pressure and companies are suffering the most from uncertainty and market volatility. The EU needs to remain a strong leader against protectionism and unilateralism in support of rules-based trade.”

Source: BusinessEurope

May 30, 2018

CBI’s International Director’s statement on US tariffs

Measures deeply concerning for close trading partners and across supply chains

The Trump Administration’s measures are deeply concerning for firms in the UK, for close trading partners and across supply chains.

Ben Digby, Confederation of British Industry International Director, said: “The President’s measures are deeply concerning for firms in the UK, for close trading partners and across supply chains.

“Overproduction can distort the global market and erode the level playing field that business depends on to stay competitive. But this is a shared challenge whose root causes should be tackled jointly by the EU and the USA. There are no winners in a trade war, which will damage prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic. These tariffs could lead to a protectionist domino effect, damaging firms, employees and consumers in the USA, UK and many other trading partners.

“Now is not the time for any disproportionate escalation, and we urge the EU to consider this when initiating its response. The UK is the largest foreign investor in America, and British companies support over 1 million jobs in the States, stretching from Alaska to New York. We must work with the USA to find a way out of this current scenario that preserves our economic links, and we will continue working urgently with the US Administration to protect British trade, jobs and growth.

“We hope that the USA will swiftly reconsider its decision, and we will be pressing home the importance of our transatlantic relationship with our counterparts and government figures in Washington, London and Brussels in order to protect the free and fair trade that is the key to our economic future.”

Source: CBI

May 30, 2018

US Chamber statement on additional steel, aluminum tariffs and quotas

US steel prices are already nearly 50 per cent higher

US Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs Myron Brilliant issued the following statement regarding the upcoming June 1 deadline for exemptions from proposed steel and aluminum tariffs:

“Months ago, the US Chamber warned that alienating our strongest global allies by launching a tit-for-tat trade war would harm the US economy and undermine American leadership. This is even clearer today: The US must not expand tariffs or quotas on steel and aluminum imports to additional countries on June 1, as has been threatened.

“Such a move would hit American manufacturers with higher costs, slow the growth of the US. construction sector and put the brakes on job creation in both of these key industries. US steel prices are already nearly 50 per cent higher than those in Europe or China, and aluminum prices have been extremely volatile; this move would add substantially to these challenges.

“Extending the reach of these tariffs and quotas to additional countries is certain to provoke widespread retaliation from abroad and would put at risk the economic momentum achieved through the administration’s tax and regulatory reforms. We urge the administration to take this risk seriously.”

The US Chamber’s previous statement on steel and aluminum tariffs is available here.
Source: USCC

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