G20 finance ministers to mull threat of tit-for-tat tariff imposition

G20 finance ministers to mull threat of tit-for-tat tariff imposition

Foreign ministers and central bank chiefs from the world’s top 20 economies will meet in Buenos Aires today in an

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Photo: baodauthau.vn

Foreign ministers and central bank chiefs from the world’s top 20 economies will meet in Buenos Aires today in an attempt to defuse a potential tit-for-tat trade war.

Today’s summit comes amid calls from the OECD for steel-producers to address overcapacity through dialogue, rather than reintroducing tariffs and other trade barriers. US President Donald Trump announced he would impose a blanket tariff on steel and aluminium imports by March 24.

The Commerce Department will accept applications from US manufacturers for exceptions to the import tax from Monday, although such requests could take up to three months to process. Meanwhile, foreign governments are likely to push for their own broader exceptions too; currently, Australia is the only country that has been granted such a carve-out.

The EU and Japan, along with Washington’s NAFTA partners Canada and Mexico, are likely to receive such exceptions in exchange for varying economic and national security concessions. Indeed, US officials have said that they will be seeking out “like-minded” countries at today’s G20 summit in a bid to pressure China’s unfair trade practices. Such a strategy risks further alienating Beijing, which manages the world’s second largest economy, increasing the likelihood of a damaging trade war.

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