Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Trade Minister Steve Ciobo have also been lobbying to have Australia spared from the 25 per cent tariff on steel, and a 10 per cent tariff on aluminium imports.
The European Union threatened to retaliate by slapping steep tariffs on USA imports from states that are also home to top lawmakers and went for Trump in the election.
Trump is expected to sign a presidential proclamation establishing the tariffs during a ceremony scheduled for 3.30pm (2030 GMT) on Thursday, a source familiar with the situation said. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions: Ready to fight California over pro-immigrant sanctuary laws White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders made the announcement during a press briefing Wednesday. "Must WIN again!" Trump also said on Twitter.
Though China's overproduction of steel is seen as the primary cause of a global glut, the United States gets a relatively small amount of imported metals from China. Rob Portman, a Republican from OH and former United States trade representative who worked closely with Cohn during the tax reform debate, said he had offered a few names to the White House, hoping to find someone who fit Cohn's mold.
"The president indicated that if we can work something out with Canada and Mexico, they will be exempted".
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It also was a box-office smash, experiencing the fourth best Thanksgiving weekend ever with an estimated $72.9 million. His mother is from Jalisco, Mexico and his father is half-Mexican and grew up in California.
Cohn, director of the White House's National Economic Council, said he was stepping down on Tuesday after weeks of speculation that he and Trump were moving farther apart on trade policy. She mentions "national security", i.e. not wanting a trade dispute to alienate important allies. Iowa's congressional delegation, including two Republican senators, wrote to Trump expressing concern that the tariffs would hit the state's farmers.
"We know that the end is in sight", said Dale Lee, president of the West Virginia Education Association.
Business leaders, meanwhile, continued to sound the alarm about the potential economic fallout from tariffs, with the president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce raising the specter of a global trade war.
The threat of retaliation over the tariffs, which the International Monetary Fund has warned could eventually damage growth, is already rising.
China, which ranks 11 among the largest sources of U.S. steel imports, cautioned that it was prepared to "make an appropriate and necessary response" should the United States impose the tariffs.
Asian stocks opened lower Wednesday amid fears the American president would embark on a more protectionist drive, despite U.S. stocks finishing higher partly due to expectations for a detente in the Korean peninsula but with investors still struggling to discern whether Trump would follow through on restrictive trade measures.
The president's pledge for action, which would be in line with a one of his campaign promises, came after House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin called for a "more surgical approach" that would help avert a potentially risky trade war. The bloc is targeting iconic USA brands produced in key Republican states on a range of consumer, agricultural and steel products, according to a list drawn up by the European Commission.