Trump signals Australia might be exempted from United States tariffs

11 March, 2018, 01:11 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Speculation of an early election had been growing

Turnbull told a news conference in South Australia state his discussions with Trump included the ongoing threats from North Korea after the USA president opened the possibility of talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The exemption follows months of intense lobbying at the highest levels of the Trump administration from Mr Turnbull, his senior ministers, Australia's Ambassador Joe Hockey and even golfing legend Greg Norman, who is a friend of Mr Trump's.

Mr Turnbull said Mr Trump had acknowledged the trade relationship between Australia and the U.S. was a fair and reciprocal one.

The United States is working to exempt ally Australia from its newly unveiled foreign steel and aluminium tariffs, President Donald Trump said on Saturday, tying the effort to a security agreement.

"The outcome of imposing a tariff on Australian steel to the west coast would be simply putting up the price of building in California", Mr Turnbull told the Financial Review Business Summit in Sydney.

US President Donald Trump last week announced his intention to impose a general tariff of 10 per cent on all aluminium imports and another 25 per cent on steel imports, although he could still consider some exceptions.

As is his way, Mr Trump first hinted at the tariff exemption in a Twitter post confirming the pair had spoken on Saturday.


After a telephone call with Turnbull on Friday, Trump tweeted: "Spoke to PM @TurnbullMalcolm of Australia". Do you think it's important for Australia to keep the U.S. on-side?

He said any special treatment afforded to Australia would only apply to shipments coming out of the country, and not to those from Australian companies in third markets.

"Great discussion today on security and trade".

He said the threat of Australia sustaining collateral damage in a trade war also remained real.

West Australian Premier Mark McGowan said he believed Mr Trump's actions could still have some unforeseen and wide-ranging consequences, given his state exports iron ore to countries like China and Japan.

Australia's peak industry association says exemption from the United States' steel and aluminium tariffs would be a "partial victory" only, with many local companies still likely to be hit by hefty imposts.

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