United States removes 10 per cent tariff on Canadian aluminium

Daniel Fowler
September 15, 2020

"After consultations with the Canadian government, the United States has determined that trade in non-alloyed, unwrought aluminium is likely to normalise in the last four months of 2020, with imports declining sharply from the surges experienced earlier in the year", the US Trade Representative said in a statement. That's the decision the USA has taken. We opposed the tariffs in the first place, and we thought they were bad for everybody.

The apparent climbdown by the Trump administration marks a significant shift in its posture toward Canada-U.S. aluminum flows. Century's CEO in July said the tariffs on Canada were working before the administration chose to give the country an exemption previous year.

Canada threatened a dollar-for-dollar retaliation that was expected to be announced Tuesday. Freeland and Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade Minister Mary Ng announced the decision to drop their plans for countermeasures during what was supposed to be a press conference to outline Canada's plan of attack.

"Everyone in Canada understands that aluminum from Canada is no threat to national security in the United States", Champagne said Monday as he prepared for a two-day cabinet retreat with Liberal colleagues at a Global Affairs office building in Ottawa.

Prior to the latest development, Trudeau said the government would act to protect Canada's aluminum industry.

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Among the list of potential USA aluminum products Canada had its sights on are beverage cans, washing machines, refrigerators, bicycles and golf clubs, meaning prices on both sides of the border would likely increase for these products.

"This is the USA deciding to drop the tariffs" before a scheduled 3 p.m. news conference by Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland which was set to unveil Canada's list of American products targeted for tariffs.

The trio wrote to Trump asking him to consider the "negative consequences" for consumers and American suppliers.

Instead, Trump declared in August that he would reimpose the tariffs on Canada. US business groups said the taxes raised costs for manufacturers that depend on imported aluminum, while not addressing the real threat to American aluminum producers: massive overproduction by China that drives prices down.

He said the resumption of classes and the reopening of the Canadian economy, meaning more people are back to work, had led to an increase in case numbers.

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