Donald Trump says Australia will be likely exempt from steel tariffs

The president said aggressive foreign trade practices are

The president said aggressive foreign trade practices are an"assault on our country

Republicans in Congress maintained their opposing stance on Trump's tariffs and urged the president to take a more surgical approach to tackling the problem of China's flooding of global markets with cheap steel.

President Donald Trump pledged Thursday the United States would show "flexibility" to "real friends" concerning planned steel and aluminum tariffs, ahead of an expected signing ceremony to formalize the controversial measures.

In Brussels, the three officials also held a trilateral meeting, on the basis of which Seko said they are considering jointly filing a WTO suit against a third country's measures distorting trade. "I just want fairness". Canada and Mexico were given exemptions while the renegotiation of a more US-friendly NAFTA deal is underway. Administration officials have sought to iron out how certain national security "carve-outs" might be put in place to lessen the economic impact of the tariffs.

The tariffs will go into effect 15 days from the proclamation signing, according to a White House official who briefed reporters on background. "We will be doing something with them".

The Trump administration has argued that protecting domestic steel and aluminum is a matter of national security, despite acknowledging that USA military requirements for steel and aluminum require only 3 percent of domestic production.

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The tariffs announced today appear to soften what Mr Trump billed last week as a global, "no-exceptions" move to protect the two industries under a 1962 national security trade law.

The White House confirmed that the two countries are considered a "special case", and discussions will continue to "address our concerns".

The looming departure of 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.

Arizona Sen Jeff Flake, a Republican, said he plans to introduce legislation next week to nullify the tariffs though he has acknowledged that finding the votes to stop the president's actions could be hard.

Both Brussels and Beijing voiced hope that a trade war could be averted, and the European Commission raised the prospect that Trump could consider exempting the EU's 28 member states from the measures along with US neighbors Canada and Mexico. "We're not trying to blow up the world".

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Rajah said if Australia fails to get an exemption, the Turnbull government would have some grounds to retaliate, but it would be a complicated process.

Trump's impromptu announcement he intends to slap 25% import taxes on steel and 10% on aluminium has sparked a revolt within his own Republican party, pushed a top aide to quit, and angered major trading partners who vowed retaliation. "It will all work out", Trump said.

"There are lots of forces in the United States who will rally around this, there are already congressional efforts to overturn this, there's a big group of industries that have come together to advocate for something", Jacobi said.

Trump apparently will be negotiating future possible exemptions, meaning we could essentially see a series of miniature trade deals with individual countries, each affecting the steel and aluminum industries in new ways.

But he also continued to frame the exemption as conditional on reaching an updated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that better favors the United States.

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