News

Australian steel gets US tariff exemption

by
March 10, 2018

US President Donald Trump has signalled hope for Australia after announcing new export tariffs.

An exemption from Donald Trump's tariffs on Australian steel will still mean trouble for local companies with operations in other countries, an industry group warns.

Australia is hopeful of wrapping up a deal to avoid the United States' steel and aluminium tariffs, after President Trump praised the long-term relationship between the two countries.

Mr Trump described Australia as a "great country" and a "long term partner" and pledged to "do something" with the long-standing ally.

Trade Minister Steve Ciobo told AAP he wants to finalise a "positive outcome" in the next two weeks.

But Australian Industry Group Chief Executive Innes Willox said the tariff announcement would still hurt companies even if an exemption was granted.

"While we hope that Australia will win exemptions from the latest steel and aluminium tariffs, this would be only a partial victory," Mr Willox said on Friday.

He said any special treatment afforded to Australia would only apply to shipments coming out of the country, and not to those from Australian companies in third markets.

"As a country with a high reliance on trade, the risks of broader damage to the global economy from a trade war are great," Mr Willox said.

Countries have 15 days before the tariffs become law to pursue an exemption.

Australia has been lobbying hard for an exemption based on national security grounds, as Mr Trump promised "great partners and military allies" may sidestep the tariffs.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Australian golfer Greg Norman wrote a letter to the president lobbying for Australia to be exempt, as part of a plan to call in "contacts at every level".

By
More in National
Login Sign Up

Dummy text