Trump's tariffs good for Canada but bad for global trade

Trump's tariffs good for Canada but bad for global trade

Other countries will also be allowed to apply for exemptions to the new taxes of 25% on imported steel and 10% on imported aluminum.

"Europe is certainly not a threat to American internal security, so we expect to be excluded", Malmstrom, the 28-nation EU's trade commissioner, told reporters in Brussels on Friday.

The association said Canada is the top destination for US steel exports, representing half of all its total exports.

Canada is the biggest source of United States steel imports, while Mexico is in the top five, meaning a significant share of imports will be exempt from the tariffs.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told CNBC in an interview on March 9 that President Donald Trump will take national security into account in deciding which countries to exempt from the tariffs, and he noted that Trump wants to see North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies spend more on defense.

"Ideally, some of them will be dealt with in this 15-day process so that they don't hit those countries", Mnuchin said Friday, citing the legal time-frame for implementing the tariffs.

"Trump is using this (as) a tactic to try to put more pressure on Canada and Mexico to go along with some of the things the US wants in the NAFTA negotiations", he added.

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Trump said he would announce the duties later on Thursday.

Countermeasures would include European tariffs on USA oranges, tobacco and bourbon, he said. Both the European Union and China have said they would retaliate against action by the United States, as have Mexico and Canada.

China was quick to respond to Trump's announcement.

Over $2.4 billion worth of goods and services cross the Canada-U.S. border daily, according to the Canadian government. "Tit-for-tat retaliatory measures don't profit any country".

If national security is the primary issue, analysts said the United States might end up exempting major economic competitors in Asia and Europe such as Germany and Japan from the tariffs - leaving China and Russian Federation as the main targets.

The actual formal documents specifically state that Canada and Mexico are a special case, given the continent's shared commitment to mutual security, an integrated defence industry and the shared fight against dumped steel and that the best way to address USA concerns - "at least at this time" - is by continuing discussions.

But the same official said it truly is a matter of national security - with six USA aluminum smelters shutting down the last few years, and just five remaining, and only two operating at full capacity, he said that leaves the U.S.at risk of having to import all its aluminum eventually. The probes were authorized under the seldom-used Section 232 of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act, which gives the president broad powers to impose trade restrictions on domestic security grounds.

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