Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Trump administration isn’t trying to provoke a global trade fight with the steel and aluminum tariffs announced last week.
The Treasury Secretary tried to tamp down fears of a global trade war as Republican lawmakers and some of President Donald Trump’s own advisers mounted a last-ditch campaign to stop steep tariffs on steel and aluminum announced last week.
“We are not looking to get into trade wars,” Mnuchin said Tuesday during a congressional committee hearing when asked about the tariffs, adding that he is “supportive” of imposing the duties.
One of Trump’s closest Senate allies, David Perdue, suggested the president may be open to changes on the tariff, sending U.S. stocks rising with the S&P 500 Index up 0.3 percent at 1:26 p.m in New York
The Georgia senator said he met Tuesday with White House chief of staff John Kelly and spoke personally with Trump, urging him to limit the tariffs by targeting them against specific countries and categories of steel and aluminum.
Read more: Will tariffs spur Cohn’s exit?
White House economic adviser Gary Cohn is summoning executives from U.S. companies that depend on the metals to meet this week with Trump to make the case that the tariffs will cost more jobs than they save and damage the U.S. economy, according to two people familiar with the plan. Trump has told advisers he believes the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive will leave the administration if he imposes the tariffs, said people familiar with the matter.
Republicans in Congress are making an unusual public campaign to thwart the tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum. House Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday urged the president to “be more surgical” in penalizing trade abuses to prevent “any kind of unintended consequences or collateral damage.”
The threat of retaliation and escalating tit-for-tat penalties damaging growth around the world is already rising. The European Union warned it would respond with its own 25 percent tariff to hit $3.5 billion of U.S. goods. The EU is targeting iconic U.S. brands produced in key Republican constituencies on a range of consumer, agricultural and steel products that will be levied if Trump goes through on his tariff threat, according to a list drawn up by the European Commission.
Read more from the originally posted article on Bloomberg.com