Tags: peter navarro | imported | steel | aluminum | no country exemptions | tariffs

WH Trade Director: 'No Country Exclusions' But Will Be Tariff 'Exemptions'

(CNN's "State of the Union")

By    |   Sunday, 04 March 2018 10:17 AM

While there are "no country exclusions" in President Donald Trump's planned tariffs on steel and aluminum which will be put in effect "next week," there will be national security "exemptions so that business can move forward," U.S. Director of Trade and Industrial Policy Peter Navarro said Sunday.

"There's a difference between exemptions and country exclusions," Navarro told CNN's "State of the Union." "They'll be an exemption procedure for particular cases where we need to have exemptions so that business can move forward, but at this point in time, there are no country exclusions."

Navarro told host Jake Tapper no country should be excluded, because it would "raise the tariffs on everybody else."

"What I love about this president is he listens to all points of view both within his government and outside, and then he makes the tough decisions," Navarro told Tapper. "In this case he made the decision to go with 25 percent tariffs on steel, 10 percent on aluminum across the board with no country exclusions – and that's the way to do it, I believe . . . as soon as you start exempting countries, you have to raise the tariffs on everybody else.

"As soon as you exempt one country, then you have to exempt another country, and so it's a slippery slope. He heard all sides and made a decision – a courageous, tough decision – and I think it's the right decision."

Some of President Trump's stout supporters and economic advisers, including Larry Kudlow, Art Laffer, Stephen Moore, and Gary Cohn have been publicly critical of the tariffs plan, saying "prosperity killers" would cost many more other jobs than it would save in the U.S. metal industry.

"I know Larry and Steve — we were brothers in arms during the campaign — and I'm totally in sync with them, as the president is, on things like deregulation and tax cuts," Navarro told Tapper. "Larry and Steve have never, ever supported the president on trade . . . Larry, Steve, they can have their points of view, and I agree with that, but they're dead wrong on the economics.

"There's no down stream effects here. There's only the president, for national security and economic security purposes, saving and defending our steel and aluminum industries and as the president said, we can't have a country without those industries, and I believe that."

The World Trade Organization might have some objections to President Trump's tariff plans, Tapper responded and questioned whether President Trump would be prepared to leave the WTO. Navarro pushed back on what he thought was Jake Tapper's  "provocative" question, denying withdrawal was the ultimate goals of tariffs.

"What I think the president wants to do in terms of the World Trade Organization is send a very strong signal to them, across the board on this issue of trade, that we're not going to take it any more," Navarro told Tapper. "What we have is a country here in the United States which has the lowest tariffs in the world, lowest non-tariff barriers in the world, and all we get from that is not fair and reciprocal trade.

"What we get from that is a half-trillion dollars a year in trade deficit that put our wealth offshore and our jobs offshore, and a lot of the problem has been the World Trade Organization, which is over 160 countries and a lot of them simply don't like us.

"We don't get good results there. We're free traders. Let's be clear about that. . . . The world trade organization needs to change with the times."

And, finally, on Navarro's notable disagreement with President Trump's economic adviser Cohn that these trade tariffs might lead to Cohn's departure, Navarro agreed.

"I was with Gary and the president Thursday afternoon — he was in great spirits," Navarro told Tapper. "Gary and I get along very well, and we agree on more things than we disagree. . . . Gary and I basically have very differing opinions [on trade]. The president loves that. He wants to hear all side of the argument.

"He's a valued member of the team, and it's up to Gary whether he goes or stays, but I like working with the guy."

Later "State of the Union" guests Sunday supported President Trump's push for fair trade by implementing tariffs.

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While there are "no country exclusions" in President Donald Trump's planned tariffs on steel and aluminum which will be put in effect "next week," there will be national security "exemptions so that business can move forward," U.S. Director of Trade and Industrial Policy...
peter navarro, imported, steel, aluminum, no country exemptions, tariffs
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2018-17-04
Sunday, 04 March 2018 10:17 AM
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