US President Donald Trump spoke to his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and discussed his decision to impose import tariffs on foreign steel and aluminium. In a telephone call with Macron, who is on a four-day visit to India, Trump underscored that his decision is necessary and appropriate to protect national security, the White House said. “Both Presidents discussed alternative ways to address United States concerns,” an official readout of the call said. Citing national security concerns and the need to protect American industries from “unfair” business practices, Trump yesterday signed two proclamations that levied a 25 per cent tariff on steel and a 10 per cent tariff on aluminium imported from all countries except neighbouring Canada and Mexico.
The contentious tariffs will go into effect in 15 days. Major nations reacted sharply to Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, warning of damage to close relations amid industry calls for retaliation. Trump also discussed his decision to meet North Korea’s top leader Kim Jong-Un.
“The two leaders also conferred about President Trump’s intention to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to ensure the complete and permanent denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula,” the White House said. Trump and Macron sharply condemned Syria’s Assad regime, and its Russian and Iranian sponsors, for the “atrocities” it has committed, including the bombing in East Ghouta, the White House said.