Trump says he's working with Australia on tariff exemption

Trump says he's working with Australia on tariff exemption
© Getty Images

President TrumpDonald John TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration MORE said Friday that he's working on a "security agreement" with Australia that would exempt the country from stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum imports the U.S. imposed this week.

Trump tweeted that he had spoken to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and that the two leaders were committed to "having a very fair and reciprocal military and trade relationship."

"Working very quickly on a security agreement so we don’t have to impose steel or aluminum tariffs on our ally, the great nation of Australia!" Trump tweeted. 

ADVERTISEMENT

The president's tweet came a day after he imposed tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports. Those duties are set to take effect in the next few weeks.

Canada and Mexico have been exempted from the tariffs, and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinWhite House confirms new trade talks with China Hillicon Valley: Facebook weighs crackdown on anti-vaccine content | Lyft challenges Trump fuel standards rollback | Illinois tries to woo Amazon | New round of China trade talks next week On The Money: Trump declares emergency at border | Braces for legal fight | Move divides GOP | Trump signs border deal to avoid shutdown | Winners, losers from spending fight | US, China trade talks to resume next week MORE held open the possibility on Friday of granting exemptions to other allies.

"My expectation is there may be some other countries [Trump] considers in the next two weeks," Mnuchin said on CNBC.

The tariffs drew fire from many foreign governments, who warned that they could take retaliatory trade measures against the U.S. if Trump made good on his plan to levy the heavy duties on steel and aluminum.

Turnbull later tweeted that Trump was "confirming" Australia's exemption.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop acknowledged on Friday that Australian officials had recruited the help of golf legend Greg Norman, a personal friend of Trump's, to lobby the U.S. president on the tariffs, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

-Updated March 10 at 11:18 a.m.