Trade minister rejects suggestion its only temporary as Australia braces for fallout from China’s tit-for-tat import taxes on US

The trade minister, Steve Ciobo, has claimed Australia has a permanent exemption from US steel tariffs because of its trade deficit.

Ciobo has rejected claims that Australia’s exemption to the steel tariff is temporary, despite the fact that, in March, the White House said Australia was among a group of countries that would have an exemption until 1 May – after which the deal will be renegotiated or quotas will apply.

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