Trump administration considered placing tariffs on Australia: report

Trump administration considered placing tariffs on Australia: report

The Trump administration considered placing tariffs on Australian imports last week, The New York Times reported Sunday.

According to several people familiar with the discussions, the administration decided against it amid fierce opposition from military officials and the State Department.

Some of Trump's aides reportedly suggested the tariffs in response to a spike in Australian aluminum entering the American market over the last year.

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Those opposed to the plan told Trump it would alienate a top ally and could come at significant cost to the United States, the Times reported.

Trump said Sunday that relations with Australia are strong when asked about the Times report.

“The Australian situation is interesting. But the relationship is very strong. No, we’re doing a very, very special relationship with Australia," he told reporters.

Australia was exempted from a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum from many countries that Trump imposed last year.

Imposing tariffs on Australian goods would expand the countries the U.S. has ongoing trade disputes with.

Trump announced Thursday on Twitter that he would place a 5 percent tariff on Mexican imports starting June 10 “until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP.”

The administration has also imposed tariffs on Europe, Canada and China.