WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump expressed on Friday his willingness to leave Australia out of the new tariffs on steel and aluminum, in exchange for a “security pact” with that country.
“Spoke to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia. He is committed to having a very fair and reciprocal military and trade relationship,” Trump said in a Twitter message.
“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!” the tweet added.
Trump on Thursday announced the details of the new tariffs, which will be 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports, from which Canada and Mexico have been exempted for the time being.
The president, however, left the door open for other countries, including Australia, also to avoid the new tariffs, which will not enter into force until at least 15 days from now.
The Australian prime minister, already said earlier this week that the US has “nothing to gain (...) by imposing a “metallurgical” trade war.”
Turnbull, who just recently visited Trump in the White House, welcomed the decision and tweeted “Great discussion today on security and trade. Australia/US trade is fair & reciprocal & each of our nations has no closer ally. Thank you for confirming new tariffs won’t have to be imposed on Australian steel & aluminum – good for jobs in Australia and in US!”