Trump targets Canada, reimposing tariffs on aluminum

The U.S. slapped import tariffs on Canadian aluminum in 2018 and later removed them

The U.S. slapped import tariffs on Canadian aluminum in 2018 and later removed them

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said the retaliatory tariffs will take effect in 30 days, after Ottawa consults Canadians on precisely which American products to target.

As part of a 2019 agreement lifting the measures, the United States and Canada said they would monitor imports and, if a country is determined to be buying in too much, one of the other nations could request a consultation and potentially reimpose tariffs.

Ottawa's decision follows the Trump administration's announcement on Thursday that the USA, due to supposed national-security concerns, would reimpose a 10-per-cent tariff on certain Canadian aluminum imports starting August 16.

"What Donald Trump is doing is using the 232 Article, which he can use to say that our aluminum exports represent a problem for the national security, which of course isn't true".

She said the United States chose to spark a new trade conflict by slapping the news tariffs. The U.S. imposition of tariffs on imports from Canada will negatively impact economic recovery efforts and hurt workers in the U.S. and Canada.

The Trump administration has made claims for years that Canada has been flooding the US market with raw steel and aluminum products, which has in turn lowered market prices enjoyed by American producers.

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An Ottawa source briefed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's office said Canadian officials are increasingly sure that Trump will lose the November 3 presidential election to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Trump's latest move also follows the coming into force on July 1 of the "new NAFTA" trade deal between Canada, the US and Mexico, which was seen as a way to help North America bounce back from the pandemic.

Alcoa, the biggest USA aluminum producer, which has some smelters in Canada, said in an emailed statement it was "disappointed" that the US chose to reimpose the tariffs.

Canadian aluminum has flooded the American market and was poised to "kill all our aluminum jobs", the president said.

Trump made the announcement during a campaign speech at a Whirlpool factory in Ohio.

The White House has argued the Canadian surge in aluminum threatened national security. Freeland also made it clear that Canada would try to avoid escalating the dispute, adding that retaliation would be "reciprocal and limited in scope".

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This is not the first time in recent history that there's been an exchange of tariffs between Canada and the United States.

The association added that reports of a "surge" of primary aluminum imports from Canada are grossly "exaggerated".

The tariffs of 10% will only affect the unalloyed aluminum.

She said the justification for imposing them was unfounded.

"I think we're into a world where there's going to be increased protectionism by countries", said Mintz. She blasted President Trump for imposing the tariffs in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic when many economies and industries are suffering.

"It's the wrong thing for the wrong reason at the wrong time for the wrong people", Simard said. "This will create a situation in which American manufacturers pay the tariff twice - once as a tariff surcharge and second as part of a much higher premium".

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