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U.S. imposes steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada

U.S. imposes steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada

The United States has decided to end steel and aluminum tariff exemptions for Canada, the country’s Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced Thursday.

Canada, Mexico and the European Union were exempted from import duties of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum when they were first imposed in March, but those exemptions were set to expire Friday.

The tariffs kick in at midnight, but there will be some flexibility and continued negotiations, Ross said.

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 told reporters.

He said Canada and Mexico had originally been exempted from the tariffs as North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations took place, but talks are “taking longer than we had hoped.”

There is no longer a very precise date they may be concluded, therefore they’re added into the list of those who will bear tariffs,

the official said.

U.S. President Donald Trump had imposed the tariffs earlier this year, saying his country had been treated “badly” in trade relations.

At the time, Trump also cited national security reasons for the tariffs.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has hinted that Canada will retaliate.

Two government sources told Global News that Canada has considered several actions and that a decision will be made after discussions with relevant ministers and premiers.

Reaction to the announcement

Officials from several countries spoke out about the U.S. tariffs just after Ross made the announcement.

The European Union said it has no choice but to defend itself and its industries following the move, while a spokesperson said the U.K. government was “deeply disappointed.”

The UK and other European Union countries are close allies of the U.S. and should be permanently and fully exempted from the American measures on steel and aluminium,

the U.K. statement read.

Cabinet ministers in Canada convened for an emergency meeting at Parliament following the announcement.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Freeland are expected to hold a press conference Thursday afternoon.


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