Australia dodges USA metal tariffs after Trump, Turnbull do deal

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Mr Trump said last Friday that he was working on a security agreement with Australia that would exempt the country from planned tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.

Turnbull said that he had "great discussion" with Trump on security and trade.

"Ultimately, we have a very healthy trade and investment relationship with the United States, especially the type that President Trump likes, and off the back of that it's understandable that the president resolved that Australia wouldn't be subject to these tariffs", Mr Ciobo told the ABC's Insiders programme on Sunday (March 10). "Thank you for confirming new tariffs won't have to be imposed on Australian steel & aluminum - good for jobs in Australia and in US!", Turnbull said on Twitter.

"Steel is steel", Trump said before signing off on the tariffs.

We have a very close relationship with Australia.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the Federal Government would renew its call to be exempt from the tariffs, given Mexico and Canada may be spared. "At the same time, we have some friends and some enemies where we have been tremendously taken advantage of over the years on trade and on military", he said.

Trump last week exempted Canada and Mexico from the 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium and said USA allies would have 15 days to negotiate possible exemptions.

Australia dodges USA metal tariffs after Trump, Turnbull do deal
Australia dodges USA metal tariffs after Trump, Turnbull do deal

Australia's major steel exporter BlueScope might get favourable treatment because it has a substantial presence in the United States and sends steel from Port Kembla to its manufacturing plant in California. Trump also mentioned Australia when speaking to reporters at the White House earlier in the day.

"We will most certainly push our case even harder", Ms Bishop said.

But the Saturday meetings in Brussels, the capital of the European Union, appeared to be inconclusive.

We will be very flexible.

The proposed move to put a 25 per cent tariff on steel imports, and 10 per cent on aluminium, has sparked talk of a global trade war, should other economies retaliate with similar protectionist policies.

Some European policymakers said they anxious the tariffs were part of a broader assault by the Trump administration on ties between Europe and Washington, which has been the backbone of the post-World War II Western order.

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