Tags: peter navarro | G-7 countries | tariffs

WH Trade Director to G-7 Countries: We Aren't Aiming Tariffs at You

By    |   Monday, 04 June 2018 01:49 PM

The economy is "as strong as the Rock of Gibraltar" as the United States heads into the upcoming G-7 summit, and the "mood is quite good" with in the Trump administration, even if the other six countries coming to the event are angry with President Donald Trump over his decision on steel and aluminum tariffs, White House Trade Council Director Peter Navarro said Monday.

"As we go into the G-7, I think the primary message for all those countries that we put steel and aluminum tariffs on is simply this: We aren't aiming those tariffs at you," Navarro told Fox News' "America's Newsroom." "That's not the point."

"The difference is that they feel like they are," show host Sandra Smith told him, pointing out that the rest of the G-7 nations have put out a statement that conveys their concerns and disappointment. Further, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is hosting the summit, has called the tariffs insulting.

The G-7 summit has been nicknamed the "G-6 Plus Trump," as six of the seven countries participating have been targeted by Trump's move enact steel and aluminum tariffs, including his decision last week to lift waivers for Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

Navarro, though, said such sentiments are "absolutely" an overreaction.

"We have, as President Trump has said, unless we have aluminum and steel industries we don't have a country," said Navarro. "The problem we have is we've got more than 20 countries flooding our markets with steel, about 15 countries flooding our markets with aluminum. Over the past decade, these industries here in America have simply not been able to perform in a way which is going to keep them in business."

The tariffs, he continued, are "purely defensive in nature, designed to bring these industries back to life," and they are working.

"From day one that those tariffs were announced, they're working," said Navarro. "On day one, U.S. Steel announced the reopening of a big facility in Granite City, Illinois. On day one of those tariffs in  Kentucky, Century Aluminum put in $150 million in modernization and expansion. Just last Friday we had a plant groundbreaking in Ashland, Kentucky, the heart of poverty in America in Appalachia, a rolling mill because of the tax and tariff policy."

He stressed that he would tell Trudeau that the tariffs are "not aimed at Canada or China or Russia or any other country. It's simply a way to defend ourselves, our industries so we can build the ships and the planes and whatever to defend this nation and by the way, to defend our allies.

Navarro also said he wanted to make a more broad point about Trump's trade policy.

"As he has tweeted we lose close to $800 billion a year and we have lost the trade war," said Navarro. "A lot of it is because of the unfair trade practices not just of strategic competitors like China but of our friends and allies in places like Canada and Europe. For example, the Canadians, they behaved very, very badly on lumber...they perform badly on dairy and hurt our dairy farmers in Wisconsin.

Europe has also treated the United States badly when it comes to tariffs, said Navarro.

"When we go to Europe, we have, for example, if we try to sell an automobile to Germany, they slap a 10 percent tariff on that car plus a 19 percent tax," he said. "We're only charging them two and one-half percent."

Meanwhile, Navarro pointed out that the U.S. economy is strong heading into the summit.

"If I may just point out, we've created nearly three million jobs, over 600,000 manufacturing and construction jobs," Navarro said. "We have unemployment of 3.8%, the lowest rate since 2000. We've got African-American and Hispanic unemployment rates at the lowest since they started collecting the data on it. We have massive new investments in aluminum and steel industries because of our tariff and tax policies and this economy is solid as the Rock of Gibraltar."

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The economy is "as strong as the Rock of Gibraltar" as the United States heads into the upcoming G-7 summit, and the "mood is quite good" with n the Trump administration, even if the other six countries are angry over the decision on steel and aluminum tariffs . . .
peter navarro, G-7 countries, tariffs
Monday, 04 June 2018 01:49 PM
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