Trump re-imposing tariffs on Canadian aluminum

Politics

President Donald Trump speaks during an event at the Whirlpool Corporation facility in Clyde, Ohio, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020. Trump is in Ohio to promote the economic prosperity that much of the nation enjoyed before the coronavirus pandemic and try to make the case that he is best suited to rebuild a crippled economy. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (News Nation) — President Donald Trump said Thursday that the United States is reinstating a 10% import tax on Canadian aluminum, raising tensions with an American ally just weeks after his trade pact with Canada and Mexico took effect.

Trump originally imposed the tariffs on aluminum imports in 2018. He then lifted them last year on Canadian and Mexican metals to smooth the way for the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement. The USMCA took effect July 1 and was expected to bring stability to North American trade.

Instead, Trump declared Thursday that he is reimposing the tariffs on Canada. Speaking at a Whirlpool plant in Ohio, the president said that Canada had promised that “its aluminum industry would not flood our country with exports and kill all of our aluminum jobs, which is exactly what they did.’’

Trade lawyer Daniel Ujczo with Dickinson Wright PLLC in Columbus, Ohio, predicted that Canada will retaliate with tariffs of its own — unless U.S. and Canadian negotiators can reach a truce before the tit-for-tat import taxes begin.

Ujczo said the tariffs appear designed to win Trump election year support from voters in Ohio, an industrial state.

Aluminum imports from Canada rose sharply from February to March but have since leveled off and actually dropped 2.6% from May to June, according to the Aluminum Association trade group.

“Claims of a ‘surge’ of primary aluminum imports from Canada are simply not accurate,’’ said Tom Dobbins, the association’s president.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

© 1998 - 2020 Nexstar Inc. | All Rights Reserved.