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Trump orders steel and aluminum tariffs

Today President Trump officially announced steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

Canada and Mexico are temporally exempted from the tariffs, to deter trading partners from retaliating with tariffs of their own. But the tariffs against other nations will take effect in 15 days, officials said.

Canada and Mexico, two of the nation’s largest trading partners, each threatened to retaliate against tariffs that would include them.

Officials also said that with Canada and Mexico excluded, the president may have to “modestly” raise tariffs on everyone else to make up the difference.

Trump alluded earlier there could be additional carve-outs for Australia, though it’s unclear what that will entail.

“We’ll be doing something with them,” the president said during a Cabinet meeting. “We’ll be doing something with some other countries.”

White House officials said that all other countries will be able to make their case as to why they should be exempt from the tariffs and what they will do to shore up their national security relationship with the United States.

Trump has indicated he is ready to go even further on trade. He tweeted Wednesday that “the U.S. is acting swiftly on Intellectual Property theft,” referring to an ongoing probe into whether China’s practices are hurting American businesses.

He also called on Beijing to reduce its trade surplus with the U.S. by $1 billion, a figure that was adjusted up to $100 billion, less than one-third of the $375.2 billion trade deficit the U.S. had with China last year.

“Our relationship with China has been a very good one, and we look forward to seeing what ideas they come back with. We must act soon!” he tweeted.

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