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Trump Says U.S. to Be Very Flexible on Tariffs He Plans to Sign Today

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March 8, 2018

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By Justin Sink (Bloomberg) — President Donald Trump will sign an order on Thursday over steel and aluminum tariffs that he said could spare certain countries if they have strong trading and military ties with the U.S.

Trump will sign the formal proclamations on the tariffs at 3:30 p.m. in Washington, the White House said in an emailed statement.

Trump told reporters earlier Thursday during a Cabinet session that Mexico and Canada would likely not face the levies if they renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. The president also noted that the U.S. has a trade surplus with Australia and called the nation a “long-term partner.”

“We have other countries that are very much involved with us on trade but also on military,” Trump said. “We’ll be making a decision as to who they are.”

Trump added that he’s “sticking with 10 and 25 initially,” referring to the 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports and 25 percent on steel that he has said he’ll impose. “I’ll have a right to go up or go down depending on the country, and I’ll have a right to drop out countries or add countries,” Trump said.

Trump told reporters they will hear what he is doing at the afternoon meeting and that the administration is “going to be very fair, we’re going to be very flexible” but will protect American workers.

© 2018 Bloomberg L.P

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