“The decision by the US to raise tariffs on aluminium and steel products is a clear step in the wrong direction that risks further escalating global trade tensions,” Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox said.

“There will be a complex mix of winners and losers among Australian producers and their employees from the particular measures. For example, cheaper Chinese steel destined for the US may end up in Australia.

“However, the bigger issues revolve around the risk of retaliation and an escalation of protectionist policies around the globe.

“These are risks that are particularly relevant to Australia which, as a medium-sized trading nation, relies on open trade opportunities for our prosperity.

“The uncertainty that protectionist measures and counter-measures will generate dampens investment in growth and innovation in a variety of industries.

“It is unclear whether there will be any comfort for local exporters of steel and aluminium from the US Australia Free Trade Agreement, but initial reports suggest there will be no exceptions to the new tariffs,” Mr. Willox said.

Source: AiG

Image: Courier Mail