Goldman Sachs rips into Donald Trump's tariffs plan as opposition builds

President Trump speaks during a meeting with steel and aluminum executives in the Cabinet Room on Thursday

Tensions between the US and its longtime trade partners and allies spiked last week after Trump announced a sweeping 25 percent tariff on all foreign steel imports and 10 percent on all aluminum imports, sparking global condemnation and fears of trade war.

Even if the decision is eventually overturned, the disruption to two of North America's key industries, steel and automobiles, would be costly.

A bottle of Bulleit Kentucky bourbon at the Spirit de Milan cafe in Milan, Italy.

"No, we're not backing down", Trump said in the Oval Office, seated with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"I'm not going to go into our private conversations", he said. Seoul's trade minister is headed back to the States for his second trip in ten days in a bid to soften the potential blow to South Korean steelmakers.

"Import tariffs make the USA less competitive by raising the prices of raw materials", the bank wrote in a report cited by Bloomberg.

The European Union has said it is drawing up measures against leading USA brands like Harley-Davidson motorcycles and Levi's jeans. "Once the tit-for-tat starts, there are unintended consequences".

In the past, Mexico has sometimes slapped retaliatory tariffs on US products from states that could influence the USA president in turn.

Simmons, the IL steelworker, thought this week of the workers at his U.S. Steel plant, who have struggled to find work elsewhere.

The World Trade Organisation also declared the Bush steel tariffs illegal, a further blow to the Bush administration that led to the swift end of import taxes months ahead of schedule. "But we have to do it".

Trump was expected to finalize the planned tariffs later in the week, although some observers familiar with the process said it could occur next week.

Additionally, few Americans agreed with Trump that a trade war is "good, and easy to win".

The tariffs were initially proposed by Trump last week, who initially suggested a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum and a 25 percent tariff on imported steel, though the details are still open to change.

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Trevor Kincaid was the Deputy Assistant US Trade Representative for Public Affairs in the Obama administration and is a member of the Washington International Trade Association; he previously served in the US Senate and House of Representatives.

Bush and Trump are also using different justifications for the steel tariffs.

She says the trade deficit is often larger when the economy is growing, and that in the past, trade surpluses have not correlated with job creation.

He noted the example of BMW, which sells about 350,000 cars in the USA annually, roughly 70 percent of which come from Europe.

There are signs Republicans are beginning to wake up to the danger of Trump's pronouncements, if only to prevent USA stock markets from crashing.

House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republicans worry that such tariffs would spark a trade war.

"This, at the same time, reminds us that the stimulus from the tax reform may be less than estimated, given certain hidden extra charges for the economic agents". Sweden's Volvo manufactured 6 percent of its cars in the U.S.in 2016. "I think you are hearing some of that smooth operator (commentary)". It's not just the US economy that will suffer: The tariffs would punish some of America's closest allies, including NAFTA partners and the EU.

While Trump said he did not think there would be a trade war, U.S. trading partners already are preparing to retaliate, and have pledged to file a dispute at the World Trade Organization.

Unlike the punitive tariffs that the United States frequently imposes on "dumped" or unfairly subsidised goods from specified countries, Trump's steel and aluminium measures would apply to all countries.

USA bond yields rose as Wall Street shares rallied.

But what is the cause of the USA trade deficit?

Enforcement of worldwide rules is key to the health of the system and the success of any trade agreement; without accountability the system can't run.

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