- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 4, 2018

The White House’s director of the office of trade policy on Sunday said there will be no country “exclusions” at this point for new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

“As soon as you exempt one country, then you have to exempt another country,” Peter Navarro, director of the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“Canada is 40 percent of the market,” he said. “If you exempt Canada, then you have to put big, big tariffs on everybody else.”

“This is a measured, targeted approach,” he said.

The head of the World Trade Organization, among others, expressed concern about the move, saying “the potential for escalation is real” and that a trade war isn’t in anyone’s interest.

“The World Trade Organization, I think, needs to change with the times,” Mr. Navarro said.

President Trump last week said he plans to impose tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports.

The move generated vociferous pushback from pro-free trade Republicans and some Democrats who warned of protectionism, though it also won some praise from the AFL-CIO and pro-union Democrats like Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio.

The president later threatened to impose “reciprocal taxes” and a tax on European-made cars, if the European Union decided to “further increase their already massive tariffs and barriers on U.S. companies doing business there.”

“The United States has an $800 Billion Dollar Yearly Trade Deficit because of our ‘very stupid’ trade deals and policies,” Mr. Trump said on Twitter. “Our jobs and wealth are being given to other countries that have taken advantage of us for years. They laugh at what fools our leaders have been. No more!”

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