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Donald Trump says he's working on deal with Australia for tariff exemption

Donald Trump says he's working on deal with Australia for tariff exemption

Shortly after Trump's tweet, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Twitter that the relationship between the two allies was fair and reciprocal.

"There is literally nothing to be gained in the US.by imposing a tariff", Malcolm Turnbull said during a speech at the Financial Review Business Summit in Sydney. "He is committed to having a very fair and reciprocal military and trade relationship", Mr Trump tweeted.

But it was not all good news, with Australian Industry Group Chief Executive Innes Willox warning the U.S. tariffs could still hurt Australian companies.

"While we hope that Australia will win exemptions from the latest steel and aluminium tariffs, this would be only a partial victory".

"We will be making a decision as to who they are - we have a very close relationship with Australia", he said.

In the immediate aftermath, Australian Trade Minister Steve Ciobo told local media that he was "seeking urgent clarification" from us officials to see if Australia would be exempt.




Mr Turnbull's flying visit to Washington along with months of lobbying - including from Mr Trump's friend, former Australian golfer Greg Norman - is thought to have tipped the balance.

"I had a frank discussion with the U.S. side about the serious pending issue of steel/aluminum tariffs, " the top European Union trade official, Cecilia Malmström, wrote on Twitter after the meeting.

"History tells us they are bad, and they end up causing not just a contraction in the global trade but, as a result of that, a contraction in global growth", he told the ABC.

Despite being one of the world's largest suppliers of raw commodity, iron ore, Australia is a small global exporter of steel.

Australian Industry Group Chief Executive Innes Willox said the exemption was a positive step but he was concerned it would only apply to steel and aluminium from Australia and not to Australian companies producing overseas.

According to The Australian, Australia exports $US210 million in steel and $US213 million in aluminium to the United States each year.

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