Published: Tue, September 15, 2020
Economy | By

USA abruptly reverses course, lifts tariffs on Canadian aluminum

USA abruptly reverses course, lifts tariffs on Canadian aluminum

"We need to get through this in order to be able to talk about next steps", Trudeau said. In a statement, the top American trade official cited "consultations" with Canadian officials and an expectation that trading of aluminum is likely to balance out in the months ahead, as why the Americans chose to withdraw what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called "unjust" tariffs.

The OUSTR said the decision comes "after consultations with the Canadian government determined that trade in non-alloyed, unwrought aluminum is likely to normalize in the last four months of 2020, with imports declining sharply from the surges experienced earlier in the year".

In a statement before the second day of a cabinet retreat in Ottawa, Trudeau said the government is acting to protect Canada's aluminum industry.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade Minister Mary Ng will release details of the plan later today, Trudeau said.

The past several weeks have seen a resurgence in COVID-19 across Canada after a summer lull, which Trudeau said is a reminder that Canada is "not out of the woods yet".

The United States on Tuesday (Sept 15) announced it would no longer impose a 10 per cent tariff on Canadian aluminium imports following threats of retaliation from Ottawa. The 10% tariffs went into effect on August 15.

The government had already issued a list of possible products on the target list, including beverage cans, washing machines and golf clubs.

The U.S. announced the removal of aluminum tariffs it slapped on Canada last month, after bring threatened with retaliatory duties.

The trio wrote to Trump asking him to consider the "negative consequences" for consumers and American suppliers. "We're glad the USA lifted tariffs - that's a victory for Canada and the U.S". The U.S. has for years claimed that Canada has been "dumping" high volumes of aluminum into the U.S., which has in turn depressed prices enjoyed by American upstream producers.

Mr. Trump imposed them under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act, which allows the President to use tariffs for "national security" purposes.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's office confirmed the USA decision, but two senior sources said it wasn't an agreement, and pointed out that Lighthizer's statement left many questions in the minds of the Canadian government.

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