Amid ongoing trade stalemates with NAFTA and the EU, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has announced the U.S. Commerce Department will no longer provide exemptions for the European Union, Canada or Mexico.
As anticipated, during a telephone briefing with reporters Secretary Ross announced at midnight tonight the 25% steel, and 10% aluminum, tariffs on imported goods will begin.
Via Reuters: U.S Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told reporters on a telephone briefing that a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports from the EU, Canada and Mexico would go into effect at midnight (0400 GMT on Friday).
“We look forward to continued negotiations, both with Canada and Mexico on the one hand, and with the European Commission on the other hand, because there are other issues that we also need to get resolved,” he said.
Ross offered little detail about what the EU, Canada and Mexico could do to have the tariffs lifted. (link)
The imposition of the import tariffs will likely break the impasse on current trade negotiations with multiple countries – as they will now move to try and get their products exempted.
Australia, Brazil and South Korea (KORUS) have completed trade agreements with the U.S. and will remain exempt from any countervailing steel and aluminum duty. Japan is close to signing a similar trade agreement. However, Canada and Mexico (NAFTA), as well as the EU, have been unwilling to reach reciprocal and balanced trade agreements with the U.S. and will now be subject to the tariff.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce representing Wall Street multinational interests will likely go bananas. Those DC politicians who are fully purchased by the U.S. CoC lobbyists will likely attack the administration….. all predictable.
(Via NBC) […] The European Commission fired back at the White House’s trade decision with a lawsuit, saying the E.U. “stands now ready to react to the U.S. trade restrictions on steel and aluminum in a swift, firm, proportionate and fully WTO-compatible manner. The E.U. will launch legal proceedings against the U.S. in the WTO on 1 June. The level of tariffs to be applied will reflect the damage caused by the new U.S. trade restrictions on E.U. products.”
Mexico’s Ministry of Economy released a statement saying “Mexico deeply regrets and rejects the decision of the United States to impose these tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from Mexico as of June 1, under the criterion of national security. Mexico will impose equivalent measures to various products in the face of U.S. protectionist measures.”
[…] “These tariffs are totally unacceptable,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a press conference Thursday afternoon. “Over the past 150 years, Canada has been the most steadfast ally. The idea that Canada could be considered a national security threat to the United States is inconceivable.”
Starting July 1, Canada will levy “dollar-for-dollar” tariffs on a selection of American-made goods, said Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, announcing that the government had drawn up two lists of products that would be subject to either 25 percent or 10 percent taxation, until the U.S. changed its position. (read more)
WHITE HOUSE – Today, President Trump announced that he is taking action to protect Americas national security from the effects of global oversupply of steel and aluminum. Following extensive discussions and a months-long process, the President will implement tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union.
The implementation of steel and aluminum tariffs follows the announcement by President Trump on March 8, 2018, of a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports.
In the initial proclamations in March, President Trump welcomed any country with which the United States shares a security relationship to discuss alternative means to address threatened impairment to the national security caused by their steel and aluminum exports to the United States. The President made it clear that the Administration was willing to work with those countries to find separate arrangements that would meet the national security requirements of the United States.
The United States has reached an arrangement with South Korea on steel, which was announced on April 30. Included in todays proclamations, the United States has reached arrangements on steel with Australia, Argentina, and Brazil, and with Australia and Argentina on aluminum.
The United States was unable to reach satisfactory arrangements, however, with Canada, Mexico, or the European Union, after repeatedly delaying tariffs to allow more time for discussions.
*WHY: Current quantities and circumstances of steel and aluminum imports into the United States threaten to impair national security. These excessive imports are driven in large part by the worldwide glut from overproduction by other countries.*
In January 2018, the Department of Commerce delivered two reports on steel and aluminum investigations conducted under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.
The reports found that the excessive level of imports threatened to impair the national security because further closures of domestic production capacity would result in a situation where the United States would be unable to meet demand for national defense and critical infrastructure in a national emergency.
On March 8, President Trump accepted the Department of Commerce’s recommendations and began to take action to address the threatened impairment to Americas national security. (LINK)
Understand 232 Review HERE