United States supports Canadian aluminum tariffs

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US can reimpose tariffs on Canadian aluminum


The United States is dropping plans for a 10% tariff on certain types of Canadian aluminum that President Donald Trump announced last month.

The United States said it was pulling back after determining that imports were likely to decline after an earlier surge.

If shipments do not fall as expected, officials have said they will apply excess tariffs.

The overthrow comes the same day Canada was due to unveil its retaliatory plans.

Canadian leaders said they welcomed the U.S. decision and that in response they would suspend plans to impose tariffs on C $ 3.6 billion ($ 2.7 billion, 2.1 billion pounds) on US aluminum products.

“These measures were a mistake from the very beginning,” said Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Finance of Canada. “It really is a day when common sense prevailed and that is good news. ”

Ms. Freeland described the US move as “one-sided” and Canada had not agreed to meet any import threshold. The government remains ready to retaliate if the United States decides to act on its tariff threat, she added.

“After four years of working with this US administration, we have understood that we have to be ready for anything,” Ms. Freeland said. “We must expect any possibility and we will continue to be prepared for any possibility. “

Trade tensions between the United States and Canada

The United States first imposed tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum in 2018, citing national security concerns. The move caused quite a stir, especially among the country’s traditional allies in Europe and Canada. The Trump administration subsequently exempted some countries, including Canada, from the levies, which were also controversial in the United States.

But at an event in Ohio last month, President Trump announced he was once again imposing border taxes on certain types of Canadian aluminum, citing a flood of dumped metals in the country.

This step was “absolutely necessary to defend our aluminum industry,” he said.

Canada called the move “unwarranted and unacceptable,” but the United States said the 2019 agreement exempted Canada from tariffs for monitoring imports and allowed tariffs to be reimposed in the event of a surge in trade. volumes.

In Tuesday’s announcement that the 10% tariff would be lowered, retroactively to September 1, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said it expected imports for the remainder of 2020 to drop by 50%. compared to the monthly average for the first seven months of the year. .

“If imports exceed 105% of the expected volume in a month, the United States may reimpose the 10% tariff in the future,” the bureau said, adding that it would review the state of the market with Canadian officials at the end of 2020..

Ms. Freeland did not respond directly when asked if Canada was at risk of meeting the limits set out by the United States. But she noted that the United States has said it does not plan to review the decision until November.

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