SYDNEY – Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull ruled out on Monday joining any international action against the United States over steel and aluminum tariffs after it got an exemption from them.
Turnbull also said the exemption was not granted in exchange for any extra security arrangement beyond what Australia already provided.
“I know there’s been speculation in the media about action being taken by other countries in the World Trade Organization about the US steel and aluminum tariffs,” Turnbull told reporters.
“As a country that will be exempt from those tariffs, we don’t have a basis to bring a complaint,” he added.
“I know what was discussed, and there is no request for any change or addition to our security arrangements,” Turnbull said.
US President Donald Trump announced the exemption over the weekend and said in a message on Twitter that he was “working very quickly on a security agreement so that we don’t have to impose steel or aluminum tariffs on our ally, the great country that is Australia!”
Trump announced on Thursday the details of the new tariffs, 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports, as he considers these industries vital for national security.
The move unleashed criticism from its global partners and the threat of a trade war.
Australia, Canada and Mexico have been exempted from these tariffs so far.