WASHINGTON – The Trump administration is revising parts of its tariff strategy with allies around the world as it focuses on a comprehensive trade war with China.
The White House appeared to be ready to delay a due decision Friday to levy duties on foreign cars and auto parts, said people who are familiar with the situation. Such a move would have affected Japan and Europe, major automakers.
On Wednesday, Finance Minister Steven Mnuchin said the United States had signed an agreement with Mexico and Canada to cut back on steel and aluminum tariffs imposed last year. If the government does so, it will put an end to a stalemate situation that exacerbates tensions between the three countries and makes it difficult to implement the new North American Free Trade Agreement.
Nach Mr Mnuchin was cautious when asked about the prospect of a deal with China.
"I am confident," he said, "I would not say that I am confident."
The potential rollback of certain duties reflects The challenge is to wage trade wars on multiple fronts, and legislators and companies are increasingly pressuring the White House to focus on combating China's unfair trading practices while reversing much more unpopular tariffs on allies such as Europe, Canada and Mexico. However, the result of these duties is still uncertain, Mr Trump has long been a fan of customs duties and considered them an effective way to rebalance trade relations.
Political advisers and executives of the auto industry have emphasized that the president will make the final decision on the imposition of duties of up to 25 percent on foreign cars. And the United States and Canada sent mixed signals on Wednesday about the future of steel and aluminum tariffs.
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland declined to say whether the countries would have met after talks with an agreement to lift steel and aluminum tariffs. US legislator and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer held in Washington on Wednesday.
Freeland said her talks were "productive" and that the two sides had been in constant contact over the last few weeks. She suggested, however, that it would be a mistake to predict how long the negotiations would last.
"As was the case from the beginning, we believe that these duties have to be lifted," said Ms. Freeland.
Even If the President withdraws the metal levies for Canada and Mexico, the current level of tariffs in the United States remains high. The charges introduced by Mr Trump have given the United States a duty twice that imposed by Canada, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany and France.
And the total tariff would rise Very much Mr. Trump should decide to impose measures for foreign cars. The specter of car fares is related to relations with the European Union and with Japan, both major automotive suppliers to the United States. Canada and Mexico have negotiated a quota with the United States under their trade agreement, which would exempt them from the measure.
While the president has often circulated the idea of car fares in the past, some car company advisers and representatives have said they consider these charges unlikely amid fierce opposition among industry leaders and Congress. The White House is now in preliminary trade talks with the European Union and with Japan, and car rates would throw a bomb into these negotiations.
The White House is expected to announce a six-month delay in a later car-to-car decision this week, a person familiar with the matter said. The decision was due on 18 May.
"Delighted that @POTUS has delayed the decision on car fares," tweeted Rob Portman, a Senator from Ohio, [Wednesday] in response to the media reports that the charges would not be charged.
Car tariffs would have opened another front to Mr Trump's trade war, but one with much lower potential benefits and greater political liabilities. Automotive executives on both sides of the Atlantic are opposed to tariffs, and tariffs have caused collateral damage to some of its most loyal voters in states such as Alabama and South Carolina, where major Mercedes-Benz and BMW factories are based. 19659002] "Our biggest market is Germany," said Jeppe Kofod, a Member of the European Parliament from Denmark. "The mere fact that Germany is injured – we would be very affected."
The 25-percent tariffs on steel and the 10-percent tariffs on aluminum introduced by the Trump government last year had a more restrained economic impact. but they have done much to rattle alliances.
Mexico and Canada, both reciprocating at their own rates, appeared to be close to an agreement. However, Mr Trump was reluctant to oppose his desire to protect the American steel and aluminum sector and his belief that tariffs could be used as further levers.
Republicans and Democrats in Congress sharply criticized the tariffs and warned that the new deal with Nafta would not come about before it was lifted.
wife. Freeland said Wednesday that a failure to remove tariffs could cause business in Canada to fail.
"As long as the tariffs are in place, ratification will be very, very problematic," she said.
The United States was trying to persuade Canada and Mexico to agree a quota system for steel and aluminum in return for tariff reduction. Canada and Mexico have pushed back.
It is unclear on which terms the three countries are on the verge of agreement. But Mexican officials have expressed optimism about the subject. A senior Mexican official said this week that recent talks on abolishing tariffs have been "fruitful" .
Senator Chuck Grassley, Republican of Iowa and Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said he has pressured Mr. Trump to completely abolish metal tariffs.
"It is critical to the credibility of our global trade agenda," Mr. Grassley told reporters Tuesday. "I say the president must lift these duties."