It was unclear whether the tariff orders, one for steel and another for aluminum, would provide details about how other nations could seek an exemption.
The president has said the tariffs are needed to reinforce lagging American steel and aluminum industries and protect national security. President Xi, I have great respect for.
The China Iron and Steel Association and the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association said in separate statements that the government should take countermeasures against USA products. It also said that it would take the case to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in an attempt to get the tariffs ruled as unlawful. "More importantly, because of that, workers in our country have not been properly represented". Different U.S. industries would be affected; automotive companies such as Ford and GM that manufacture cars using steel would face a significant rise in costs.
But some Democrats praised the move, including Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who said it was "past time to defend our interests, our security and our workers in the global economy and that is exactly what the president is proposing with these tariffs".
Trump suggested, for example, that there could be a carve-out for Australia. And Trump took note of U.S. Steel's announcement that it planned to ramp up activity at its plant in Granite City, Illinois, and recall about 500 employees because of the new tariffs.
Democratic Congressman Rick Nolan applauds the move. Duffy said, a statement issued earlier this week, "American workers deserve a level playing field".
Both the steel and aluminum industries have been under heavy pressure from imports.
He then extrapolated those figures against the respective tariffs of 25% and 10% - resulting in a volume reduction of 38.5% for steel and 17.3% for aluminium.
The looming departure of White House economic adviser Gary Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs executive who has opposed the promised tariffs, set off anxiety among business leaders and investors anxious about a potential trade war. "All over the place", Trump said. "And we can't afford to lose them".
Malmstroem hinted that retaliation was still an option if everything else failed: "We will have to protect our industry with rebalancing measures".
For aluminium, the "articles" defined in the order are unwrought aluminium (HTS 7601); aluminium bars, rods, and profiles (HTS 7604); aluminium wire (HTS 7605); aluminium plate, sheet, strip, and foil (flat-rolled products) (HTS 7606 and 7607); aluminium tubes and pipes and tube and pipe fitting (HTS 7608 and 7609); and aluminium castings and forgings (HTS 7618.104.22.168 and 7622.214.171.124). But they stop short of his earlier intention to impose sweeping tariffs that would hit USA allies and rivals alike.
The Chinese Commerce Ministry called Trump's tariffs "a serious attack on normal global trade order" and said that Beijing is "firmly opposed" to the measures.
Trump has said the US will be "very fair" but "very flexible" and "protect the American worker".
Trump says a 25 percent tax will apply to steel imports, and 10 percent will be added to aluminum brought into the U.S. "And that is what we must stop".
Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of steelworkers' union Community, said: "Donald Trump's short-sighted strategy will put jobs at risk on both sides of the Atlantic". "The suppliers have to pay a certain price from the mill".
The process of announcing the penalties has been the subject of an intense debate and chaotic exchanges within the White House, pitting hard-liners against free trade advocates such as outgoing economic adviser Gary Cohn. "Sometimes he keeps people off balance, even his own staff".