The Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed that the new steel and aluminium tariffs imposed by US president Donald Trump will not affect Australia. The Australian leader spoke with Trump on Saturday in which he described the meeting as a productive discussion. Turnbull reminded Trump of the military ties that Australia and the US have had in place for a long time. Additionally Turnbull reiterated that the trade relationship between the two countries has always been fair and reciprocal.
Turnbull later told reporters that he was very pleased that the president of the United States was able to confirm that Australia would not have the steel and aluminium tariffs placed against it. After the call, Trump took to social media and tweeted that Australia and Malcom Turnbull are committed to having a fair and reciprocal trade and military relationship. He also mentioned that they are working on a security agreement so that no tariffs would be placed on the “great nation of Australia”.
Following the President’s tweet, Turnbull denied that the countries are working on a new security agreement. The term “new security agreement” definitely left the Australian public wondering what that would entail. However Turnbull stated that the President is referring to the paperwork that will have to be followed up to ensure that the exemption from the tariff is in place.
Trump’s use of language has raised eyebrows across the world with a lot of room for misinterpretation being present. When the tariff was being discussed, US news outlets reported that allies of the US had to find alternative ways to address the issue regarding the national security risk that was caused by imports to the country.
In approximately two weeks, the US will increase the tariffs on steel imports by 25% and aluminium by 10%. The trade barriers are a part of Trumps America First campaign that aims to create more local jobs for America.
The Australian government was contempt on being exempt from these tariffs and have been in talk with Washington for an extended period of time. After the good news on Saturday, Turnbull was happy that he could help Australian exporters of steel and aluminium. He also stated that you have to be relentless when fighting for Australian jobs and exports. That’s what he set out to do and as you can see he has accomplished that task.
When the tariff was announced, Australia was shocked as last year Trump told Turnbull that they would be exempt from any future tariff increases. The orders are to be finalised and signed on Thursday where the neighbouring countries, Canada and Mexico are also going to be exempt. The remaining allied nations will have 15 days to potentially negotiate.