US slaps 10% levy on some Canadian aluminium
US President Donald Trump has reimposed a 10% tariff on some Canadian aluminium products, saying it was done to protect US industry.
Canada and the US reached a deal last year to lift tariffs on steel and aluminium imports that had been imposed on grounds of “national security”.
The US had imposed a 25% tax on steel and 10% on aluminium on Canada in 2018.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently said he believes a new levy would have “no justification”.
Speaking in Ohio on Thursday, Mr Trump said the tariffs were necessary to defend the US aluminium industry because Canadian producers had broken their commitment to stop flooding the US market with a cheaper product.
As part of a 2019 agreement lifting the measures, the US and Canada said they would monitor imports and, if a country is determined to be buying in too much, one of the other nations could request a consultation and potentially reimpose tariffs.
The US Chamber of Commerce is warning that a decision to bring back the tariffs could raise costs for US manufacturers.
Myron Brilliant, head of international affairs for the industry group, told Reuters the move was “a step in the wrong direction” and the measures are opposed by US aluminium manufacturers.
A 10% tariff on imports of “non-alloyed unwrought aluminium from Canada” was imposed on Thursday.
What does the US say?
In a statement on Mr Trump’s presidential proclamation, the office of the United States Trade Representative said that “imports from Canada of
the product that accounts for the largest share of Canada’s aluminium exports to the United States have surged above historical levels”.
The surge has only intensified in recent months, despite a drop in US demand, it says.
Canada was exempted from the tariffs in 2019 “on the basis of an agreement that imports of steel and aluminium products from Canada would remain at historical levels”.