President of the United States Donald trump announced the decision to introduce from 16 August an additional 10 percent duty on canadian softwood aluminum products. This happened after the United States failed to convince Canada to impose quotas on its exports of the metal, reported Politico, three sources familiar with the decision of the head of the White house.
Speaking in Ohio trump said that the tariffs are needed to protect the aluminum industry of the United States, because canadian manufacturers have failed in their obligation to stop the saturation of the American market with cheaper product, notes the BBC. In an additional statement explaining the decision of trump, in the office of the U.S. trade representative said that “imports from Canada product, which accounts for the largest share of canadian exports of aluminium in America, exceeded by the historic level”.
According to a statement from the White house, duties will be imposed on import of non-alloyed raw aluminium from Canada. According to the world Bank, Canada was the largest exporter of this type of aluminum in 2018. From this material make ingots, blocks, billets, including thin sections. In 2018, the United States imposed a 25 percent tax on steel and 10% aluminum. Under the new agreement, signed in 2019 and repealing these measures, Washington and Ottawa said they would monitor the import, and if the country will “put too much product”, another may re-impose tariffs.
Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau said the new tax “will have no excuse.” According to experts, the re-introduction of tariffs on imports of aluminum from Canada are able to aggravate trade tensions between the two neighboring countries just a month after the entry into force signed by them the North American trade agreement, which was joined by Mexico.
the U.S. chamber of Commerce warned that the decision to impose additional tariffs may lead to increased costs for U.S. producers. Myron Brilliant, head of international relations Department of the trade group, told Reuters that the decision is “a step in the wrong direction,” explaining that the American aluminium producers are opposed to these measures.
In late June, a group of 15 heads aluminium sector sent U.S. trade representative Robert Leitheiser letter, which urged the White house not to allow increase of tariffs for aluminium in North America. They argued that current import levels are largely consistent with historical trends. The national Council for foreign trade USA said that the introduction of new measures “erroneous action”, warning that it could undermine the agreement on free trade between the United States, Canada and Mexico.