President Donald Trump’s administration failed to reach a deal with Canada, Mexico, and the European Union, which led the president to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
Trump gave these three an extension when he brought up tariffs last month, but Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the administration will not renew the tariffs. Imported steel will receive a 25% tariff while aluminum will have a 10% tariff.
The U.S. imported $29 billion worth of steel in 2017 — about half of which came from the EU, Canada and Mexico. Canada supplied more than 40 percent of the $17.8 billion worth of aluminum the U.S. bought in from foreign suppliers last year.
China is largely blamed as the primary source of global excess capacity in both the steel and aluminum sectors. But the U.S. imported just $1 billion worth of steel and $1.7 billion worth aluminum from China last year because of extensive duties that have been in place for years.
The EU, Mexico and Canada argued that they are such close allies of the U.S. that they are unlikely to cut off steel and aluminum shipments in times of war. But the Trump administration rejected that reasoning.
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland announced that the country will slap “duties of up to $16.6 billion on steel, aluminum and other products from the U.S., including maple syrup, beer kegs and whiskies.”
She visited Washington on Tuesday to try to persuade the administration not to impose the tariffs. When she spoke to reporters, Freeland said Canada finds it “absurd” that the U.S. would consider it “a national security threat.”
Here’s the long list of U.S. products on which Canada is proposing to impose $16.6 billion worth of tariffs. Includes steel, yogurt, coffee, maple syrup (lol), pizza, aftershave, kitchenware, toilet paper, mattresses, pens, boats, kegs… https://t.co/5y49jhuT2E
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) May 31, 2018
The EU has started to plan “tariffs on $7.5 billion worth of U.S. goods in retaliation.” From The Washington Examiner:
The EU tariffs would target items produced in Republican-leaning states such as motorcycles and tobacco and agricultural products such as cranberry juice and peanut butter, in an effort to put maximum pressure on President Trump’s administration.
“The United States now leaves us with no choice but to proceed with a WTO dispute settlement case and with the imposition of additional duties on a number of imports from the United States,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said.
Mexico, another top steel exporter to the U.S., announced it will implement its own tariffs on a bunch of U.S. products that adds up to about $3 billion. From The Hill:
“Mexico reiterates its position against protectionist measures that affect and distort international commerce in goods,” the government said in a statement.
“In response to the tariffs imposed by the United States, Mexico will impose equivalent measures to various products like flat steels (hot and cold foil, including coated and various tubes), lamps, legs and shoulders of pork, sausages and food preparations, apples, grapes, blueberries, various cheeses, among others, up to an amount comparable to the level of affectation.”
The U.K. also expressed disappointment that the administration “decided to apply these tariffs.” Thing is, Trump faces plenty of criticism at home, too. From The Wall Street Journal:
“This is dumb,” said Sen. Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican. “Europe, Canada, and Mexico are not China, and you don’t treat allies the same way you treat opponents.”
Sen. Orrin Hatch, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement: “Tariffs on steel and aluminum imports are a tax hike on Americans and will have damaging consequences for consumers, manufacturers and workers. I will continue to push the administration to change course.”
I’ll add my two cents here, too. This is AWFUL. It doesn’t take a genius to know that those added costs will be passed down to us consumers.DONATE
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