International World Australia plays down talk of US dispute

Australia plays down talk of US trade dispute

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Australia’s prime minister on Monday played down suggestions of a spat with the , which is reportedly considering tariffs on aluminium exports from Down Under.

“We have an arrangement with , and we are working within that arrangement,” Scott Morrison said, trying to take the heat out of a potentially damaging row.

The New York Times on Sunday reported that President Donald ’s administration had considered a tax on the multi-billion-dollar industry.

Australia supplies around six percent of aluminium, a product used in everything from cans to aircraft parts.

Officials in Canberra had won an exemption on steel and aluminium tariffs last year, but some in Washington appear to have had second thoughts.

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A levy on Australian goods would open up a new front ’s trade wars and be embarrassing for Morrison’s recently re-elected , which has touted close ties with the White House.

Australia’s ambassador to Washington, Joe Hockey, has been lauded at home as a “Trump whisperer” but is due to return home soon, to be replaced by former NSW state senator Arthur Sinodinos.

Morrison said his was “working closely with the US officials and the White House on all those issues.”

arb/dm/je

/AFP

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