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American tariffs could cost Australia billions

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US President Donald Trump’s move to introduce tariffs on aluminium and steel will hit Australia hard.

The proposal includes tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium.

Australia exports over $500 million worth of steel and aluminium to the US every year, with the proposed tariffs potentially costing 20,000 Australian jobs and wiping $5 billion off Australia’s annual national income.

Chief Executive of the Australian Industry Group, Innes Willox, tells Ben Fordham the President has set a “terrible precedent”.

“We don’t have any assurance at the moment and that’s the big problem. We don’t know what the American administration is going to do.

“What we’re saying is there are real risks here. If the Americans go down this path, we don’t know where it will end.

“It’s a terrible precedent that he’s set here.”

Mr Willox says if China and Europe retaliate against the tariffs, Australia could get “caught up in the crossfire”.

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