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President Donald Trump has approved measures adding 25 percent tariffs on steel entering the United States and 10 percent tariffs on imported aluminum.

The new taxes are to go into effect in 15 days.

The president signed the measures in a ceremony at the White House on Thursday. Workers employed by U.S. steel and aluminum manufacturers attended the event.

The president, however, is permitting exceptions to the tariffs for metal imports from Canada and Mexico. Both countries are currently negotiating with U.S. officials to change the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).》

The president spoke at a cabinet meeting Thursday morning. He said U.S. officials "have a right" to drop or add countries to the list of exceptions. Officials said those exemptions would be made on a "case by case" and "country by country" basis.

Earlier, Trump wrote on Twitter, "We have to protect & build our Steel and Aluminum Industries while at the same time showing great flexibility and cooperation toward those that are real...and treat us fairly on both trade and the military."

Talk of the tariffs brought warnings of a trade war from Europe and China. One European Union official even said the EU would target goods from areas governed by Trump's Republican Party.

Reaction from China

The president has argued that the tariffs would prevent low-cost imports, especially from China, from hurting U.S. industries and jobs.

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned a "trade war" would hurt all parties and called for negotiations. He added, "China will, of course, make a proper and necessary response."

China had a record $375.2 billion goods surplus with the United States last year.

Trade tensions between the world's two largest economies have risen since Trump took office in 2017. Although China exports little steel to the United States, its huge steel production has driven down the price of steel across the world.

European reaction

In Brussels, European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen said the EU has told the U.S. that tariffs were a bad idea. He said the U.S. lost thousands of jobs when it ordered tariffs on steel imported from Europe in the 2000s.
欧盟委员会副主席于尔基·卡泰宁(Jyrki Katainen)表示,欧盟已经提醒美国,关税不是良策。他说,美国在本世纪初下令对欧洲进口钢铁征收关税时就损失了数以千计的就业机会。

Another official was firm in his response. "If Donald Trump puts in place the measures this evening, we have a whole arsenal at our disposal with which to respond," said Peter Moscovici of France. He serves as the European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs.
另一位官员做出了坚定回应。“如果川普今晚采取这些措施,我们有各种手段来作出回应,”法国的彼得·莫斯科维奇(Peter Moscovici)做出了上述表态。他担任了欧盟经济和金融事务专员。

The European measures could include tariffs on American oranges, tobacco and bourbon, he said. Some of the goods are produced in parts of the United States where Trump is popular.

Moscovici said he wanted American lawmakers to know that imposing tariffs "would be a ‘lose-lose' situation."

Internal opposition to tariffs

Trump's plan to tax steel and aluminum imports has faced growing opposition from congressional Republicans and American businesses. Many were worried about possible effects on the economy.

More than 100 Republican lawmakers wrote to Trump, "We urge you to reconsider the idea of broad tariffs to avoid unintended negative consequences to the U.S. economy and its workers."

Tom Donohue is president of the United States Chamber of Commerce, an organization representing American businesses. He said, "We urged the administration to take this risk [of a trade war] seriously."
汤姆·多诺霍(Tom Donohue)是代表美国企业的美国商会的总裁。他说:“我们敦促政府认真对待[贸易战]的这种风险。”

On Tuesday, Gary Cohn, the president's chief economic advisor, announced that he would leave the White House. Cohn has long argued for free trade and against tariffs.
周二,川普的首席经济顾问加里·科恩(Gary Cohn)宣布他将辞职。科恩一直主张自由贸易并反对关税。(51VOA.COM原创翻译,禁止转载,违者必究!)