Trump says tariff announcement coming this afternoon


"We are writing to express deep concern about the prospect of broad, global tariffs on aluminum and steel imports", they wrote to the president in the letter first drafted earlier this week. In a tweet, he said the " acting swiftly on Intellectual Property theft".

In a sharply worded statement, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Donohue says his group is "very concerned" about a potential trade war.

USW president Leo Gerard favours a Canadian exemption, but said Ottawa should work with the United States to block cheap overseas steel.

Canada has said that such an import tariff is unacceptable. And Trump for the moment will have no restraining voices willing to challenge him. Shares of Nucor, U.S. Steel and AK Steel lifted the S&P 1500 steel index.

The president has said the tariffs are needed to reinforce lagging American steel and aluminum industries and protect national security. Citibank was poorly governed, and ended up in disaster after the 2008 financial crisis, requiring a massive government bailout to stay in business.

The Wall Street Journal reported nearly two hours later that Trump was still expected to sign his tariff order, but only sometime 'this week'.

With all this going on, it would be a major error for businesses to decide in a short-sighted way that a new era of protectionism is at hand. Mr Cohn was also considered one of the architects of last year's corporate tax cut.

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, said an announcement on the findings of the report - and possible retaliatory actions - was expected within the next three weeks.

"The president has a number of people under consideration" but will "take his time making that decision", Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at a briefing Wednesday.

Analysts suggested there might have been a dash to sell into the United States before the imposition of punitive duties on aluminium foil, although foil volumes remained steady in January.

But it appeared that the Republicans finally found their groove when it came to backing a tax reform bill. "We expect that the president will sign something by the end of the week and there are potential carveouts for Mexico and Canada based on national security and possibly other countries as well, based on that process", Sanders told reporters.

Goldman-Sachs' hold on power, and indeed the ongoing tsunami of corporate lobbyists and revolving-door business leaders holding the top ranks of Washington power, will represent the classic tale of how a democracy can be strangled by corporate largesse and influence.

However, it should be noted that the state's Republican US Senator Pat Toomey said in a radio interview Wednesday morning that he doesn't agree with Trump's political calculation in his home state - nor on the protectionist policy.

Trudeau was also asked about his recent trip to India that was overshadowed by criticism over his family's Indian-style wardrobe choices, and the dinner reception invitation extended to Jaspal Atwal, who was convicted of the 1986 attempted murder of an Indian cabinet minister.

New market liberalization agreements are also entering into force, notably the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is being signed March 8 in Chile by 11 countries, even though the 12th, the U.S., pulled out.

Costs could soar for American companies that rely on aluminum and steel produced overseas, such as auto and plane manufacturers and construction. "That's what ultimately led to the agreement by the Chinese to allow their currency to weaken (somewhat)". The news is a boost for regional exporters given China's outsized role in global trade. Steel tariffs imposed in 2002 by President George W. Bush caused the loss of 200,000 jobs in those industries, according to one study - more workers than were employed in the entire steel industry.

And the president's top economic adviser and an opponent of tariffs, Gary Cohn, announced his plans to depart the White House.

Those risks are out there, and it's clear that the president's personal instincts are to run toward risk rather than away from it. But that doesn't mean a trade war is upon us.