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

U.S. tug firm to be sentenced for 2016 spill in B.C. First Nation’s territory

The Nathan E. Stewart spilled 110,000 litres of diesel and heavy oils in October 2016

No delivery services hard on local families

New parents Candace Knudsen and Bjorn Samuelsen spent five weeks away from home

UPDATED: Vehicle strike likely caused death of grizzly cubs

The cubs were discovered on June 30 on Thorsen Creek Road

B.C. to begin increasing coastal log export charges

New fees based on harvest cost, cedar no longer exempt

Three more earthquakes off north and central B.C. coasts

No tsunami or damage reported after the aftershocks in near Bella Bella, Port Hardy and Haida Gwaii

VIDEO: Reports say Lashana Lynch is the new 007

Daniel Craig will reprise his role as Bond one last time

Nine kittens and cats rescued after being locked in bins in northern B.C.: SPCA

SPCA says cats were starving, and matted with feces and urine

High-speed rail link would run from Vancouver to Seattle in under 1 hour: study

Annual ridership is projected to exceed three million

ICBC insurance renewals get more complicated this year

Crash history, driver risk prompt more reporting requirements

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Asylum figures show overall slower rate of irregular crossings into Canada

Between January and June 2019, a total of 6,707 asylum seekers crossed irregularly into Canada

Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

B.C.-wide police efforts identify Vancouver Island robbery suspect

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

Most Read