Trump to make announcement on steel, aluminum tariffs

Later today President Trump is expected to announce new tariffs on steel and aluminum

U.S. President Donald Trump says his big tariff announcement is coming today, even as his White House wrestles internally over the policy, numerous political allies warn him against it and the rest of the world watches warily.

”Looking forward to 3:30 P.M.(ET) meeting today at the White House,” Trump tweeted.

“We have to protect & build our steel and aluminum industries while at the same time showing great flexibility and co-operation toward those that are real friends and treat us fairly on both trade and the military.”

It’s expected Canada and Mexico will get some form of provisional exemption.

The White House indicated Wednesday that the two North American neighbours might get what’s being deemed a national-security carve-out — but that it might only be temporary, and would depend on how those countries behave at the NAFTA negotiating table.

RELATED: Trump tweets that steel, aluminum tariffs stay unless there’s a new NAFTA deal

There has been an intense 11th-hour debate within the U.S. administration over how to design the policy. Amid the uncertainty, today’s event was initially left off Thursday’s White House public schedule.

A senior adviser also indicated Wednesday that any relief for Canada could be very short-lived.

In fact, it sounded a bit like a negotiating threat. Peter Navarro said relief from the roughly 25 per cent steel and 10 per cent aluminum tariff would be tied to how those countries respond at the NAFTA table.

One report in the Washington Post said among the plans being discussed is to grant Canada and Mexico relief for just 30 days — then extend it if there’s progress in the next round of NAFTA talks.

“Within about 15 to 30 days the tariffs go into effect (for most of the world),” Navarro told Fox Business Channel late Wednesday, adding that steel workers would be present for a presidential proclamation-signing ceremony.

“The proclamation will have a clause that does not impose these tariffs immediately, on Canada and Mexico. It’s gonna give us … the opportunity to negotiate a great deal for this country. And if we get that, then all’s good with Canada and Mexico.”

RELATED: Trump promises big tariffs on steel, aluminum; impact on Canada still unclear

On Wednesday, 107 congressional members of Trump’s Republican party produced a letter expressing deep concern over the policy and urging him to significantly scale it down. The controversy has produced a rare public backlash against the president from Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Expect a low-key response from Canada if Trump indeed intends to use temporary tariff relief as a bargaining threat. That means no talk of walking away from the table, nor any hint of making concessions under pressure.

“Our position hasn’t and won’t change,” one Canadian source said. “We’re after a good deal, not any deal. We’ll take no deal rather than a bad one.”

Alexander Panetta, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Incumbents and acclaimed mayors win elections all across B.C.’s north

Fraser Lake saw their first female mayor elected

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

Ocean “Blob” returns to North Coast of B.C.

A 2,000 kilometre patch of warm ocean water could signal a warm winter in Prince Rupert

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Voting set to start in B.C. proportional representation referendum

Two-part ballots now being mailed to all registered voters

Liberals write off $6.3 billion in loans as part of money never to be collected

That includes student loans and a $2.6 billion write off that came through Export Development Canada

Category 5 Hurricane Willa threatens Mexico’s Pacific coast

Hurricane-force winds extended 30 miles (45 kilometres) from the storm’s centre

Trudeau, McKenna to announce compensation for federal carbon plan

Provinces that don’t have a carbon price of at least $20 per tonne of emissions will have Ottawa’s plan forced on them

Okanagan parachute accident kills American

Man, 34, dies in skydiving accident Saturday near Westwold, between Vernon and Kelowna

Man who died at BC Ferries terminal shot himself as police fired: watchdog

Officers didn’t commit any offence, says police watchdog office

Canada Post strikes leaves small shops in the lurch as holidays approach: CFIB

Rotating strikes began in Victoria, Edmonton, Halifax and Windsor

Voter turnout at 36% in B.C.’s municipal election

Vancouver saw 39% turnout, Surrey saw 33%

Harry and Meghan travel in different style on Australia tour

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day seven of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

Most Read