Trump executive order will exclude Australia from new tariffs

The White House changed tack today saying there there could be tariff exemptions

Turnbull said Saturday that Australia and the United States have a fair and reciprocal trade relationship.

The exemption follows months of lobbying at the highest levels of the Trump administration from Mr Turnbull, his senior ministers and Australia's Ambassador Joe Hockey.

Thousands of Australian and US jobs could be affected if the US President keeps his promise to hike steel tariffs, which Mr Turnbull wants an exemption from.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed Australia will be exempt from US President Donald Trump's new steel and aluminium tariffs - but denied the two leaders are working towards a new "security agreement".

Although the U.S.is not a major market for Australian steel and aluminum exporters, Australian officials expressed concerns that the tariffs would trigger retaliatory measures that could deeply impact global trade.

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.

"If we see retaliation and counter-retaliation, this could turn into a very big shock to the global economy", he said.

Julie Bishop said earlier today Australia was unlikely to be exempt from the tariffs
US will gain nothing by imposing tariffs: Australian PM

Malcolm Turnbull has warned the U.S. off its plan to impose hefty new tariffs on Australia.

Trump said Thursday that countries with a "security relationship" with the United States could ask to be excluded. "It's a level playing field and, in fact, the U.S. has a large trade surplus with Australia".

Australian steel and aluminium account for just a small percentage of the USA import market, but Canberra has warned the tariffs would distort trade and lead to job losses.

"History tells us they are bad, and they end up causing not just a contraction in the global trade but, as a result of that, a contraction in global growth", he told ABC.

Mr Turnbull later told reporters that legal paperwork confirming the exemption was yet to be completed, but an executive order would put Mr Trump's direction in place.

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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