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4 March, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Trump steel tariffs

IMF warns plan would hurt US

BBC

LONDON: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has joined criticism of Donald Trump's plan to impose a 25% tariff on steel imports and 10% on aluminium, reports BBC.

The body warned that such a move would hurt the US as well as other countries.

It said others could follow the US president's precedent by claiming tough trade restrictions were needed to defend national security.

Canada, the largest supplier of steel to the US, said tariffs would cause disruption on both sides of the border.

It is one of several countries that have said they will consider retaliatory steps if the president presses ahead with his plan next week. World Trade Organization Director General Roberto Azevedo said: "A trade war is in no one's interests."

But the rhetoric ramped up as Mr Trump tweeted, "Trade wars are good." If trade wars really were good and easy to win, the World Trade Organisation probably wouldn't exist.

Most countries believe that negotiations are best carried out and disputes settled through a rules-based system. Introducing trade barriers on a tit-for-tat basis has the potential to harm companies on both sides.

But that's unlikely to bother Mr Trump. His campaign rhetoric drew heavily on the perceived threat to traditional US industries from foreign interlopers acting unfairly. He's simply continuing in that vein.

And it's unlikely to register much with the steelworkers of Pennsylvania and Indiana. Concerned about their jobs and the future, many will welcome Mr Trump's comments.

Mr Trump tweeted on Friday morning that the US was "losing billions of dollars on trade" and would find a trade war "easy to win".

Critics argue that the tariffs would fail to protect American jobs and ultimately raise prices for consumers.

But US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross used a can of Campbell's Soup to defend the tariffs on Friday morning as "no big deal".

He told CNBC the duties would have a negligible effect on the price of a tin, amounting to less than a cent.

"Who in the world is going to be too bothered?" he asked.

Canada, Mexico, China, Japan and Brazil also say they are considering retaliatory steps.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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