Republicans Want Trump To Back Off His Tariff Proposal

He also had the option of a much higher duty of 53 percent on steel imports on a narrower group of 12 countries that did not include Canada, Mexico and the European Union, although all countries would be subject to quotas.

Republican lawmakers have stepped up calls for President Donald Trump to pull back from proposed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports as key trading partner Mexico rejected a bid by Washington to drive a wedge between it and Canada in talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

As well as damaging European and Japanese vehicle manufacturers, the tariffs could become a massive own goal for America's auto industry, which has ramped up production at factories in Mexico and Canada in recent years.

So it's no surprise this looming trade war between the United States and one of its allies dominated the joint press conference.

Trump took aim at the European Union at his news conference with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, saying the bloc had treated the United States unfairly on trade.

In an early morning tweet on Monday, he said that if the USA achieved a better deal for itself in the latest version of the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) he would abandon plans for a tariff on steel imported from Canada and Mexico. Experts have opined that the spike may have contributed to Washington's 2017 trade deficit, which widened to its highest level since the global financial crisis.

Trump, in an Oval Office meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, said he wouldn't back down on his proposals. Companies in the S&P 500 got 43 percent of their sales from outside the United States in 2016, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Trump added that European Union policies made it impossible for United States cars to sell there (in Europe), which he said was highlighted by the "big trade imbalance!"

"We are looking at possibilities to retaliate, meaning we will also put taxes or tariffs on USA imports to the European Union".

It's not quite clear exactly what Trump is referring to in his remarks.

House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republicans worry that such tariffs would spark a trade war.

The German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) said in a statement on Monday it had "great concern" about Trump's threat, citing what he said was automakers' strong commitment to production in the US. "So we'll see what happens".

"When we're behind on every single country, trade wars aren't so bad", he told reporters at the White House at a news conference on Tuesday with the Swedish prime minister.

If a trade war does happen, it could put profits for big USA companies at risk because they are heavily reliant on the global economy.

Boeing, Caterpillar, and General Electric on the other hand, all gained more than 2% Monday.

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