White House moves to delay auto tariffs for up to six months

Trump Administration Announces 6 Month Delay on Auto Imports Tariffs

Trump Administration Announces 6 Month Delay on Auto Imports Tariffs

Canadian officials have said these retaliatory measures would be lifted the minute the Americans dropped their tariffs. The White House was demanding a cap on Canadian exports at little more than 2017 levels - a proposal rejected out of hand by the Liberals.

In 2018 the U.S. imported $191.7 billion in passenger vehicles and light trucks, with more than $90 billion of these imports coming from Canada and Mexico, which are duty-free under USMCA, Bloomberg says. "We are deeply concerned that the administration continues to consider imposing auto tariffs. By boosting auto prices across the board and driving up vehicle fix and maintenance costs, tariffs are essentially a massive tax on consumers".

The president had faced a Saturday deadline to make a decision on recommendations by the Commerce Department to protect the US auto industry from imports on national security grounds and imposing tariffs of up to 25 percent. In a joint statement, the US and Canadian governments say those trade barriers would be removed within two days, as would the tariffs on American agricultural products that Canada imposed in retaliation. Jean Simard, president and CEO of the Canadian Aluminum Association, says the deal will put "an end to the harmful uncertainty that is impeding the development of the Canadian and North American aluminum industry".

Mexico confirmed it had reached a similar agreement with the United States.

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Trump had faced a Saturday deadline to decide what to do about the auto tariffs. "China ought to take note/start dealing in good faith & take Pres Trump seriously".

Spokespeople for U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Passenger cars are now subject to a 2.5 percent US tariff but Trump has threatened to raise that to 25 percent, arguing that the European Union and other countries have higher barriers to USA auto exports. Talks broke off last week with no resolution. The provision appeared to target China, which has always been accused of flooding world markets with subsidized metal, driving down world prices and hurting US producers.

Now, it appears Canadian negotiators have persuaded their American counterparts to accept that position - paving the way for a compromise that could allow the Trump administration to holster one of its favourite new trade weapons, while claiming to have enlisted the help of an ally in its ongoing fight.

But, while foreign-branded autos are popular in the United States, many automakers have championed their US-based manufacturing operations in places like Alabama, Kentucky and SC.

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Early afternoon, the United States and Canada agreed to jointly lift tariffs on steel and aluminum.

The Commerce Department reached the same conclusion about Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum imports nearly one year ago. "We strongly urge you to advise the President against imposing trade restrictions that could harm the auto sector and the American economy".

The tariffs have disrupted supply chains and added extra costs for consumers and businesses across a wide range of industries on both sides of the border.

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