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With the ink hardly dry on the papers the 11 countries signed in Chile last Friday, breaking down trade barriers, the deal that Trump pulled America out of, a protectionist move by the world's biggest economy is of concern to a country like ours that sold $8 billion worth of goods and services there in 2016.

Of all the untrue and unhinged things President Trump has said during his time in office, this ranks as one of the most truly inane: "Trade wars are good and easy to win". A joint statement from the National Association of Wheat Growers and U.S. Wheat Associates said: "It is dismaying that the voices of farmers and many other industries were ignored in favor of an industry that is already among the most protected in the country".

In Brussels, the capital of the European Union, Saturday's meetings appeared inconclusive.

"If you do that, kiss good-bye any possibility of. well, basically anything", the official added.

"There are potential carve-outs for Mexico and Canada based on national security, and possibly other countries, as well, based on that process", she said.

"So, I think these people are all crying Chicken Little", he said.

The tariffs have anxious Wisconsin's Republican Governor Scott Walker, who last week urged Trump to reconsider.

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

The Wall Street Journal editorial page, a bastion of traditional conservative thinking, called the tariffs "the biggest policy blunder" of Trump's presidency.

Trump had praised Australia during his Cabinet meeting on Thursday.

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Trump adviser: tariffs won't be imposed immediately on Canada and Mexico
The likelihood of a trade war being ignited by the encumbrance of Trump's intention tariff disturbed financial markets last week. After an agreement is concluded, US laws require additional steps before it can even be considered by the current Congress.

The steel tariff threat was seen by many to be an attempt by the Trump administration to pressure Canada and Mexico to complete the NAFTA talks - giving in to other US demands or giving up some of their own -rather than risk the punishing steel and aluminum duties.

"Working very quickly on a security agreement so we don't have to impose steel or aluminium tariffs on our ally, the great nation of Australia!" he tweeted. "We kept making the case that Canada wasn't the enemy".

Trump's authority to establish the tariffs stems from a Commerce Department investigation that found that imports of the metals pose a risk to national security. USA trade chief Robert Lighthizer will be in charge of working out deals with other partners.

During a joint White House news conference with visiting Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, the European Union has been particularly tough on the U.S.

Canadian cabinet members also kept phone lines "humming" with their US counterparts in an all-out push that recalled a lobbying effort in April 2017 to persuade Trump not to withdraw from NAFTA but to pursue re-negotiations instead.

"It's a level playing field and, in fact, the U.S. has a large trade surplus with Australia", said the Prime Minister. It is aimed at protecting USA steel and aluminum producers and workers in the name of national security.

Europe, which remains united in the face of Washington, exported 5.3 billion euros of steel products and 1.1 billion euros of aluminum to the United States in 2017.

US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert E Lighthizer has been put in charge of negotiating with countries that seek an alternative to the steel and aluminium tariffs, he said.

The Moon Jae-in government vows to persuade the Trump administration to give an exemption to Korea as it did to Canada, Mexico and Australia. We can not lose our steel industry.


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