Published: Tue, March 13, 2018

Area Steel Company Will Take a Big Hit From Trump Tariffs

Area Steel Company Will Take a Big Hit From Trump Tariffs

The European Commission, which coordinates trade policy for the 28-nation EU, the world's biggest trading bloc, has said it is ready to impose safeguards, tariffs or quotas to protect its own steel and aluminum industries from products diverted to Europe because of the USA measures. The U.S., Canada, and Mexico wrapped up their seventh round of negotiations early this month. Also, Canada "won't rest until the prospect of these duties is fully and permanently lifted", Cynthia Freeland told reporters in Toronto. "But we are not afraid, we will stand up to the bullies", Malmstroem told the press.

Trump has granted Canada and Mexico a temporary reprieve from the steel and aluminum tariffs, but has linked permanent exemptions to progress in negotiations to update the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Trump, representing the world's single largest economy, and officials of the 28-nation European Union, collectively the biggest economy, have sparred over Trump's imposition of a new 25 percent tariff on steel imports to the US and 10 percent on aluminum imports.

The president has said he favors fair and balanced trade partnerships and has floated the idea of reciprocal tariffs, which would tax other countries' imports at levels similar to what US exports face.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is brushing off the idea that Canada might be coerced into making concessions at the NAFTA negotiating table under the pressure of tariff threats from the United States.

The president of the Canadian Steel Producers Association says Canada may be off the hook for now from American steel and aluminum tariffs but it is still at risk from a glut of foreign steel.

"The exemptions aren't a magical favour that was being done (for Canada)", Trudeau said.

European leaders believe they should be exempt from the tariffs and have threatened retaliation if the plan goes ahead.

It has also lined up 2.8 billion euros of USA products, from bourbon to motorcycles, on which to impose tariffs so as to "rebalance" trade flows.

The U.S. tariff for cars, at 2.5 percent, was lower than the European Union rate of 10 percent, but its rate of up to 25 percent on trucks was higher.

"We are clear it is right to seek to defend our domestic industry from the direct and indirect impacts of these United States tariffs protecting both jobs and industrial capacity", he concluded. "It has a negative impact on the NAFTA talks".

Other stops will include Hamilton, Sault Ste. Quebec has a supply management system regarding dairy, poultry and eggs, which imposes steep tariffs on those products entering the country.

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