- The Washington Times - Friday, March 9, 2018

The president of Argentina asked President Trump Friday for an exemption from new U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Argentine President Mauricio Macri made the request in a phone call, and his government said in statement that Mr. Trump agreed to consider the request.

The White House said the two leaders discussed the tariffs and that they “agreed to stay in touch to strengthen the robust bilateral relationship.”

Mr. Trump signed orders Thursday to impose tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum, saying he needs to protect struggling domestic industries that are vital to national security. The tariffs will take effect on March 23.

The president also gave himself authority to grant exemptions to certain countries at his discretion. Canada and Mexico will be exempted while the U.S. seeks to negotiate more favorable terms with them on the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Argentina’s foreign ministry said the country accounts for only 0.6 percent of U.S. steel imports and 2.3 percent of America’s aluminum imports.

Argentina is not the cause of nor does it contribute to the distortions that affect U.S. and world markets,” the ministry said.

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