He added: “Canada used us as usual.”
Trump’s move came after the president’s greatest trade achievement-the replacement agreement for the North American Free Trade Agreement-took effect on July 1. This is a day for officials from these three countries to celebrate after more than two years of intense negotiations between the two governments and the US government. U.S. Congress.
People familiar with the matter said that Trump has been considering re-imposing aluminum tariffs since mid-June, but because US companies and officials are only a few days away from taking effect, they have delayed the insistence of US companies and officials.
According to the White House announcement, tariffs will be imposed on “unalloyed unwrought aluminum”
The Canadian government has not yet responded to Trump’s decision, but earlier Thursday, a senior Canadian government official told POLITICO: “If it happens, we will have a lot to say.”
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce criticized Trump’s decision, saying that Canadian aluminum exports “absolutely pose no national security threat” to the United States.
Mark Agneuf, senior director of international trade at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, said: “When our economy is mired in the Covid-19 economic crisis, these tariffs will only increase the damage to the North American supply chain.”
In June, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer admitted at the Senate Finance Committee hearing that the recent increase in steel and aluminum imports was “basically from Canada, some from Mexico.”
Lighthizer said: “This is our real concern, we are paying attention.”
Last year, the Trump administration exempted Canada and Mexico from tariffs on imported steel after suffering more than a year of tariffs. Trump imposed these tariffs on most countries in the world in 2018 in the name of national security.
but According to the agreement In order to increase tariffs, the United States said that after consultations with Canada, the United States may raise tariffs again. “If imports of aluminum or steel products exceed historical trade volume for a period of time, tariffs may be increased.”
The U.S. trade chief said that he is negotiating with the two countries on this, but it is not clear whether these negotiations have become part of formal negotiations, such as the United States. Reached an agreement with Canada.
Trump said that Canadian aluminum producers have violated the agreement’s commitments, and Lighthizer “has suggested to me that this step of re-imposing tariffs is absolutely necessary to defend our aluminum industry.”
The American Chamber of Commerce quickly criticized the US government’s move to reimpose aluminum tariffs and pointed out that US companies would bear the brunt.
Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said: “These tariffs will increase costs for U.S. manufacturers. They are opposed by most U.S. aluminum producers. Export retaliates-just like before.” We urge the government to reconsider this move. “
The U.S. auto industry said on Thursday that the Trump administration’s decision was “distressed.”
The American Driving Jobs Union, which represents multiple auto industry groups in the United States, said in a statement: “Although we support leveling the competitive environment, the auto industry firmly believes that any government should only use Section 232 authorities to respond to real national security threats.
According to the agreement, Canada can only retaliate against the affected sector-aluminum. However, trade experts believe that Canada can still impose tariffs on other major commodities such as the United States, such as agricultural products.
Ottawa had previously imposed retaliatory tariffs on more than $12 billion in U.S. products, most of which were U.S. agricultural products, in response to U.S. tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. These obligations were cancelled after an agreement was reached in May 2019.
The impetus for the re-imposition of tariffs comes from two American primary aluminum producers, Century Aluminum and Magnitude 7 Metals, who believe that the increase in aluminum prices from Canada has caused aluminum prices to plummet.
Michael Bless, President and CEO of Century Aluminium, said: “The president’s leadership helps ensure the continued domestic production of this important strategic material and creates a level playing field for thousands of Alcoa workers.”
But the entire Alcoa industry represented by the Aluminum Association has postponed and urged the Trump administration to oppose tariffs or quotas.
Lauren Gardner and Andy Blatchford contributed to this report.