(WASHINGTON) JUST IN: The US has announced plans to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from the European Union, Mexico and Canada a move France says is “unjustifiable and dangerous” #AceFinanceDesk reports

#AceFinanceNews – May.31: The US has announced plans to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from the European Union, Mexico and Canada: The source, who preferred to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the situation, said the tariff decision is coming this morning and is “99.9” percent done. The U.S. expects the EU will retaliate in due course #AceFinanceDesk reports

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Metal producers in the countries affected had been granted a temporary exemption from the tariffs earlier this year, but they are due to expire Friday:

The tariffs were originally announced on March 1 when President Donald Trump said that the United States was being treated unfairly.

“People have no idea how badly our country has been treated by other countries. By people representing us who didn’t have a clue,” Trump said, arguing that trade trends “destroyed” American steel and aluminum industries.

On Wednesday, a trade delegation led by U.S. Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, met with European Union counterparts in Paris but those talks appear to have failed.

Prior to the expected announcement, the French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, said Thursday that Europe would take “all necessary measures” to respond. The EU has previously said it will impose its own tariffs on U.S. products such as motorcycles and jeans.

That message has been reinforced by the German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz who said in an interview with Reuters Thursday that the EU’s response to the tariffs must be “clear, strong, and smart.”

When asked if there were any signs that the trade dispute could be resolved Scholz added: “No, there are no such signs.”

#Breaking144 – US plan to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, Mexico, and EU is ‘99.9%’ done and expected to come later this morning, a source tells @EamonJavers. https://t.co/AF95saMsZl https://t.co/CnwJkbVewb https://t.co/jC9etaEg12: The US has announced plans to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from the European Union, Mexico and Canada. #AceFinanceNews

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports & #Brittius says are provided by Sterling Publishing & Media News and all our posts, links can be found at here Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ Ace News Services Posts https://t.me/AceSocialNews_Bot and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com or you can follow our breaking news posts on AceBreakingNews.WordPress.Com or become a member on Telegram https://t.me/acebreakingnews all private chat messaging on here https://t.me/sharingandcaring

(BEIJING, China.) Talks between China and Sri Lanka for a free trade agreement have hit major hurdles, mainl y because Beijing will not agree to Colombo’s demand for a review of the deal after 10 years, Sri La nka’s top negotiator said on Thursday #AceFinanceDesk reports

#AceFinanceReport – May.31: China has invested billions of dollars building ports and roads and power stations in the Indian Ocean island nation just off the southern toe of India as part of its Belt and Road Initiative to increase its trade and other connections across Asia and beyond: But concerns have grown in recent months that such investments can drive the country of 21 million people deeper into debt and undermine its sovereignty, prompting greater scrutiny of deals with China #AceFinanceDesk reports

China’s exports to Sri Lanka dwarf the trade that goes in the other direction, leaving Colombo with a big deficit with Beijing: Sri Lanka’s chief trade negotiator K.J. Weerasinghe said this week that Colombo was insisting on a right to review the free trade pact after ten years, but China was not ready to agree that.

Ministerial level discussions about an agreement have not been held since March last year. Lower-level discussions between officials have made little progress, according to Weerasinghe.

“The talks have come to a standstill. China wants to remove the review clause,” Weerasinghe told Reuters. Beijing was opposed to such an option because it wanted longer-term stability, he said.

China’s commerce ministry did not respond to Reuters requests for comment.

The review clause that Sri Lanka wants would allow it to change some of the deal terms if they were hurting the island nation’s local businesses.

ANOTHER CONTENTIOUS ISSUE

Weerasinghe said another point of contention was that China wanted zero tariffs on 90 percent of goods the two countries sold to each other as soon as an agreement is signed while Colombo would rather it started with zero tariffs on only half of the products concerned and expanded gradually over 20 years.

China has been pushing for free trade pacts with countries in the region and last year sealed an agreement with the Maldives that drew criticism from opposition political groups in the tropical islands’ nation. They said it had been rushed through parliament with less than an hour of debate.

Sri Lanka has previously said it wanted more time to negotiate the free trade deal with China as it is concerned about the economic impact of a rushed deal on its economy.

Sri Lanka imported $4.2 billion worth of Chinese goods in 2016, mostly raw materials for garments, machines and electronics, metals, transport equipment and chemicals. Its exports to the world’s second largest economy were just $211 million the same year, which included textiles, tea and vegetables, footwear and rubber.

The 2017 figures for China trade have still not been released by the Sri Lankan authorities.

The trade deficit with China accounted for nearly half of the nation’s total deficit in 2016, adding pressure on the country’s current account deficit, central bank data showed.

Sri Lanka’s foreign debt rose nearly 17 percent to 4.72 trillion rupees ($30 billion) last year, a fifth of that coming from loans from China to finance the massive construction program across the island.

Colombo is separately negotiating a trade pact with India, but that is also moving slowly because Sri Lankan businesses fear they will face competition from a flood of cheap goods made by Indian firms.

#Breaking144 Just tweeted Exclusive: China’s free trade talks with Sri Lanka hit major hurdles https://t.co/PxQoO0RIJe https://t.co/MRHBWEwVjE: Reporting by Shihar Aneez; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Martin Howell #AceFinanceNews

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(TEHRAN, Iran.) Offers French company Total Oil 60-days to secure US sanctions waiver or Iran’s oil minister, Bijam Namdar Zanganeh, says China’s CNPC will take over investment contract #AceFinanceDesk reports

#AceFinanceReport – May.31: French energy company Total has two months to secure an exemption from US sanctions if it wants to remain as an investor in Iran’s offshore gas exploration, the country’s oil minister said: Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) would take over if the US Department of Treasury failed to issue a waiver for Total #AceFinanceDesk reports

“During these 60 days, the French government can negotiate with the US government over the fate of Total’s investment in Iran,” the Tehran-based Mehr news agency quoted Zanganeh as saying on Wednesday: On May 16, Total announced that it might pull out of its investment in the South Pars gas field if it cannot secure a waiver from the US government.

US secondary sanctions against Iran are expected to snap back after President Donald Trump declared the country’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal.

Trump also warned that even foreign companies doing business in Iran could face punitive measures in the United States.

That includes Total, which signed a deal to invest more than $2bn in Iran in July 2017.

CNPC owns an estimated 30 percent of the project, while the rest is owned by Iran’s Petropars. If completed, the project will generate 56 million cubic metres of natural gas per day, according to Iran’s Financial Tribune.

Total is a publicly listed company in the New York Stock Exchange, and its revenue in 2017 was reported at $171.5bn.

The latest development on Total comes as Russia’s second oil producer, Lukoil, announced on Tuesday that it was putting its plan to invest in Iran on hold due to threats of US sanctions.

“Considering the latest developments, I guess, it’s too early to say what our plans (about Iran) will be. For the moment, basically, we have everything on hold,” a company official was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Russia is one of Iran’s closest allies: European powers still see the nuclear accord as the best chance of stopping Tehran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and have intensified efforts to save the pact.

Zanganeh also said on state television that an agreement with Europe would inspire other potential buyers of Iranian oil.

“Europe is buying only one-third of Iranian oil, but an agreement with Europe is important to guarantee our sales, and find insurance for the ships ferrying the crude. Other buyers would also be inspired by this,” he said.

Iran offers Total oil company 60 days to secure US sanctions waiver https://t.co/sXN0MjANtn pic.twitter.com/StWdX18we2
— Al Jazeera English May 31, 2018

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