United States agricultural groups deplored the new protectionist measures, pointing out that by wanting to protect steel and aluminum producers, he opened the way to reprisals that would severely affect other sectors such as agriculture.
They were wrong on all counts: Since NAFTA was adopted 25 years ago, Mexico is on its way to becoming a failed narco-state, illegal immigration has soared and so has our trade deficit with that country. Our Steel and Aluminum industries are dead.
Trump announced the move on Thursday, saying he wants to slap a 25 per cent tariff on steel imports and a 10 per cent duty on aluminum.
The Turnbull government is still awaiting details of the Trump administration's controversial plan - announced last week - despite apparently saying previous year that Australia would be exempt from such a plan. The European Union objected and said it would impose retaliatory tariffs on the United States.
Ross told Stephanopoulos that the USA tariffs would help to correct a decades-old trade policy that has disadvantaged America.
There has been no indication any countries will be spared, although Peter Navarro, director of the White House National Trade Council, said on Sunday there would be a mechanism to exempt some businesses from the metals tariffs. It will find that economic war against allies weakens us all while nations that are not good faith partners grow stronger.
"We are extremely anxious about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan", said AshLee Strong, Ryan's spokeswoman.
There was no indication that Trump was considering lower tariffs or exemptions for any country, Ross added.
If the tariffs do go through, Howe believes Canada will retaliate in such a way that it will deter the Americans.
Apart from the impact on exporters, there are also fears the domestic steel industry could be at risk from cheap products being dumped on the Australian market if access to the United States is curtailed.
But Ross rejected threats of retaliation from American allies as "pretty trivial" and not much more than a "rounding error". Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in Beijing on Friday that China urges the U.S.to follow trade rules.
A business leader wants President Donald Trump to have "the courage" to step back from his campaign rhetoric on trade. Total US steel consumption has also been declining since 2014, when it hit 117 metric tons.
"We are on the losing side of nearly all trade deals".
Trump is expected to formally announce the tariffs measure next week.
Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen said the Turnbull Government would have Labor's full support if it made a decision to stand up to the USA over trade tariffs.
President Trump has yet another opportunity to save good paying industrial jobs in the U.S.by reforming a well-intentioned but poorly designed renewable fuel program that is driving independent refineries into bankruptcy.
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.