Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday March 9, 2018
Trump will give Canada a tariff exemption on steel and aluminum ‘for now,’ senior official says
Canada and Mexico will get an exemption “for now” from U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum, a senior administration official told reporters in an official briefing three hours before Trump’s looming announcement this afternoon.
There will be no time limit on the exemption, said the official, who insisted on anonymity. But the official said it is not “open-ended,” and that its length will depend on how the U.S. feels about the state of discussions about “our security relationship,” which, the official said, will include North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations, since “NAFTA is an important part of the security relationship in the hemisphere.”
Trump is scheduled to hold a White House event at 3:30 p.m. to sign the tariffs. For countries outside North America, the official said the president would impose a 25-per-cent tariff on all steel products and a 10-per-cent tariff on all aluminum products.
An exemption would represent a partial diplomatic victory for Canada’s government and for its steel producers, which had faced the possibility of the immediate tariffs that will hit the rest of the world. The official said Trump is not giving exemptions to any other countries, including the European Union nations that have threatened to retaliate on dozens of U.S. products, and he backed off his Monday threat to deny Canada an exemption until there was an agreement on NAFTA.
Still, an exemption subject to ill-defined future considerations would fall short of the full and final exemption Trump has been urged to grant Canada by both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and senior Republicans. (Source: Toronto Star)