More countries want to be exempt from Trump's tariffs


Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan New York City US

"Our government will discuss with US authorities the possibility exempting Argentinian exports of both products from the tariffs".

Turnbull added Australia had "the closest possible military and security alliance with the United States and it gets closer all of the time".

Brussels has already drawn up a hitlist of flagship American products to target for countermeasures if its exports are affected by the tariffs including peanut butter, bourbon whiskey and orange juice.

"As a close security and trade partner of the USA, the European Union must be excluded from the announced measures", Malmstrom wrote on Twitter.

She recalled that similar US action on steel in 2002 by then president George W. Bush "cost thousands and thousands of" and said she hoped that Washington has not forgotten this.

Aluminium producers' association European Aluminium called for an "immediate" implementation of measures if necessary.

Tusk's tough words came after the European Union unveiled a raft of counter measures that will hit a huge range of flagship U.S. exports - from jeans to motorbikes to cranberries - with duties if Trump acts on his threat to impose heavy tariffs on steel and aluminium. Japan's steel industry body also expressed concern.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said after meetings in Brussels that she got "no immediate clarity on the exact U.S. procedure for exemption", and that new talks are planned next week.

Trade tensions between Washington and Beijing have risen since Trump took office previous year.

"A trade war has no winners", Sweden's Malmstroem told reporters after the European Commission, which handles trade matters for the bloc, discussed the tariffs.

The EU exported about 5.5 million tons of steel to the US past year.

Both Katainen and Malmström said that the root cause of the problem in the steel and aluminium sector is global overcapacity.

But the US has already thrown up barriers to Chinese imports.

China's steel and metals associations urged the government to retaliate, citing imports from the United States ranging from stainless steel to coal, agricultural products and electronics.

Some Democrats praised the move.

South Korea, the third largest steel exporter to the United States and a strategic ally on the Korean peninsula, called for calm.

A WTO spokesman has said they can not comment on the tariff announcement, adding that they are still unclear on the legal basis for the measures. According to Reuters, Japanese Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko will also join the meeting in Brussels. The Commission said that this would be unlikely as the decision under the trade enforcement regulation would be subject to qualified majority voting.

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