President Trump to meet with aluminum, steel execs

Republicans and U.S. trading partners have also been urging Mr Trump to reconsider his plan to impose a blanket 25 per cent tariff on steel imports, and a 10 per cent on aluminium.

In a play on Trump's "make America great again" slogan, Shay said, "The true greatness of America can not be realized when we build walls blocking the free flow of commerce in today's global economy".

"It's really an assault on our country", he said.

The initial exemptions for Canada and Mexico are not time-limited but are created to last only long enough for the administration to assess the outlook for the NAFTA renegotiations.

"If you don't have steel, you don't have a country", said Donald Trump before signing the proclamations on the tariffs. Navarro was one of the administration's biggest supporters of Trump's plan to set the tariffs.

The US President carried out his threat to impose taxes of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium products, starting in 15 days' time, despite deep unease over the action in Washington even within his own inner circle.

"We'll wait to see whether there's a time for negotiation - that's why I'm going to Washington next week".

The tariff plan has angered U.S. allies, including Canada, Mexico, Britain and members of the European Union, who argue that their exports to the United States do not pose a threat to USA national security.

In making the long-awaited announcement Thursday, Trump says the US industry has been "ravaged by aggressive foreign trade practices".

Ron Davis, a steelworker at ArcelorMittal's Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, mill thanked Trump, explaining that steel imports have led to closed mills across the country and threatened America's domestic capability to produce metals essential to infrastructure and the military.

Exempting some nations marks a compromise from Trump's initial plan for across-the-board tariffs, which was harshly criticized by members of his own Republican party who said itwould cost U.S. jobs, raise consumer prices and hit American manufacturers.

"If you don't want to pay tax, bring your plant to the US", added Trump, flanked by steel and aluminum workers.

New Zealand finance minister Grant Robertson said he did not support the tariff and did not want a trade war.

Trump's tariffs have triggered the threat of countermeasures from the European Union and now China.

Several economists have warned that the tariffs could have a negative impact on the economy, with one analysis suggesting a net loss of 146,000 jobs. A group of 107 Republicans on the Hill released a letter on Wednesday urging the president to "reconsider the idea of broad tariffs to avoided unintended negative consequences onto the USA economy and its workers".

Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of IL said Trump's action was "like dropping a bomb on a flea" and could carry "huge unintended consequences for American manufacturers who depend on imported materials". "He's already indicated a degree of flexibility, I think a very sensible, very balanced degree of flexibility", Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC.

A Commerce Ministry statement on Friday accused the United States president of damaging the global trading system by taking unilateral action instead of filing a complaint through the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Trump may now attempt to use the tariffs as leverage to secure deals favorable to the US.

For more than four decades, IN has been the top steel producing state IN the country, cranking out more than 27 percent of the nation's steel.

The people were not authorized to discuss details in advance and spoke on condition of anonymity.

"Many of the countries that treat us the worst on trade and on the military are our allies, as they call them", he complained. Trade is a cornerstone issue of Trump's economic agenda, along with tax cuts and deregulation, he said.

Other countries are likely to take the USA to court, arguing that the decision violates World Trade Organization moves.

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says President Donald Trump should back off his plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum.

  • Leroy Wright