Trump to reimpose aluminum tariffs on Canada
President Trump said Thursday that he had reimposed aluminum tariffs on Canada, reigniting a point of contention that had been cleared up prior to the finalization of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, which went into effect in July.
In a speech at a Whirlpool plant in Ohio, Trump said he signed a proclamation earlier in the day to reimpose the tariff at its previous rate of 10 percent.
“Canada was taking advantage of us, as usual, and I signed it, and it imposes — because the aluminum business was being decimated by Canada. Very unfair,” Trump said.
“Several months ago, my administration agreed to lift those tariffs in return for a promise from the Canadian government that its aluminum industry would not flood our country with exports and kill all our aluminum jobs, which is exactly what they did,” he added.
The Trump administration agreed to lift the tariffs in May 2019 to pave the way for agreement on the North American trade deal.
The tariff recalls Trump’s earlier trade policies, which set off a series of trade wars that economists said were harmful to the U.S. economy. Trump attempted to use the tariffs as leverage in trade negotiations, to varying degrees of success.
The pact with Mexico and Canada fulfilled Trump’s campaign promise of replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement. Reports surfaced ahead of its implementation last month that Trump was reconsidering imposing the tariffs, but was dissuaded from doing so due to timing.
Driving American Jobs, a trade group representing the breadth of the auto industry, slammed the decision to reimpose tariffs.
“Given the threat of tariffs hanging over the auto industry, Driving American Jobs is troubled by the Trump Administration’s decision to reimpose aluminum tariffs against Canada – a close trading partner and military ally,” the group said in written statement.
Autos Driving America, which represents the U.S. operations of international cars, said the move would not help the industry’s recovery.
“We urge the immediate reconsideration of these tariffs so the industry can continue to ramp up production, make the significant adjustments required by the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and continue to provide competitively priced vehicles to American consumers,” thr group wrote.
Both groups honed in on Trump’s use of Section 232 of the trade code, which give him power to impose tariffs on national security grounds. They said using national security to enact trade polict was inappropriate, a position some Republicans in Congress have endorsed.