Did Golfer Greg Norman Save Oz From Tariffs?

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in , at 3/17/2018 10:24:00 PM
Who you gonna call when Trump's hitting your country with tariffs? Golfing great Greg Norman.
I'll have more to say about the United States being poised to apply $50 billion worth of tariffs annually on China over alleged intellectual property theft and related issues, but I wanted to get this news out of the way first as it involves one of the countries Trump does not consider an ally by any means. Just today, we received news that a lot of American (military) allies are going to be exempted from the forthcoming tariffs on steel. At this rate we're losing track of Trump's trade measures, but it turns out Australia is among those getting a free pass as confirmed by the USTR:
The United States trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, said on Thursday that several American allies would initially be exempt from the steel and aluminum tariffs that are to take effect shortly. Speaking at a meeting of the Senate Finance Committee, Mr. Lighthizer said that the European Union, along with Argentina, Australia, Brazil and South Korea, would be exempted. Canada and Mexico were earlier left off the list of countries subject to the tariffs.
As a side note to the exemption, it may have been the case that a famous name lobbying for the Aussie side could have swayed Trump. He is none other than Australian golfing great Greg Norman--nicknamed the Shark--winner of multiple major titles (but famously never the Masters Tournament). From the sport, remember that Trump owns many golf courses--some regularly featured on professional tours--Norman became a friend of Trump. Being wise, the Australian government sought his help:
Golfing legend and Donald Trump mate Greg Norman was "called in" to lobby the US President on Australia's behalf over steel tariffs, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has confirmed...

Mr Norman was among a number of senior business leaders to petition Mr Trump in a letter reminding him of the US's trade surplus with Australia, as well as the two countries' long-standing defence ties.

Mr Norman is a good friend of Mr Trump's, bonding through a mutual passion for golf. When Mr Trump won the presidency, Australian ambassador to Washington Joe Hockey called Mr Norman on behalf of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to find out Mr Trump's mobile phone number."I don't normally give out cell phone numbers of people in my database, but considering it was for the Prime Minister to call the President of the United States, I thought that would be the right thing to do," Mr Norman later explained.
The full letter signed by Australian business leaders...and Greg Norman, of course, you can find here. With Trump, it appears flattery will get you places, no matter how the saying goes.