One of Trump's top advisers, Peter Navarro, also holds the view that German automakers have stolen marketshare in the U.S.by importing cars but limiting the amount of USA cars sold into their country, two people involved in White House deliberations said. "In the case of tariffs on things like steel or aluminum, our point is that we are an important part of the value chain, we're an important provider of those products and can be very important in making sure the United States industry has access to the kind of products they need". Unlike in 2002, when then US President George W. Bush imposed safeguard duties as high as 30% that were later removed in the face of a ruling by the WTO, President Trump is in no mood to reconsider his decision despite tit-for-tat threats by the European Union. "As soon as he exempts one country, his phone starts ringing with the heads of state of other countries".
BetaShares chief economist David Bassanese says there is hope that the U.S. president is blustering and that the actual policy change may be limited.
The European Union says it would increase taxes on American made products if the US moves forward - while China has warned it will not sit idly by if its economy is hurt.
National Economic Council Director Cohn, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and others for months had tried to steer Trump away from aggressive tariffs, but the president resisted their counsel, a senior administration official said. "Larry and Steve have never, ever supported the president on trade". "Theyre dead wrong on the economics theres no downstream effect here".
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, whose province is at the centre of the Canadian steel industry, was spending Sunday and Monday calling trade-friendly USA governors and asking them to lobby the administration on Canada's behalf, one Queen's Park source said.
The U.S will be invoking a rarely used clause in the 1962 trade law, allowing President Trump to declare tariffs if required by national security. Navarro pushed back on what he thought was Jake Tapper's "provocative" question, denying withdrawal was the ultimate goals of tariffs.
The European Union pledged firm counter-measures, China urged Trump to show restraint and Canada, the biggest supplier of steel and aluminium to the United States, said it would retaliate if it is hit by USA duties.
Mr. Trump takes a simplistic view of worldwide trade - if we import more from a country than we export to them, we're getting ripped off and have been foolish not to retaliate.
Auto buyers could see prices go up "substantially", according to the American International Automobile Dealers Association, which was formed to advocate for free trade. "The world trade organization needs to change with the times".
Investors feared that Trump's move could herald the tough trade actions he had promised during the electoral campaign as a way to incentivize companies to just "buy American, hire American", said John Doyle, vice president of dealing and trading at Tempus Inc.in Washington.
Dave Solverson, a former president of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association, said the NAFTA region could not afford a trade war, especially when attempting to renegotiate the 24-year-old trade deal. The president loves that.
"He's a valued member of the team, and it's up to Gary whether he goes or stays, but I like working with the guy".