UPDATED: Steel Tariffs Are Coming, Canada and Mexico May See Exemptions

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
updated steel tariffs are coming canada and mexico may see exemptions

There was quite the backlash against President Trump’s plan to impose sweeping steel and aluminum tariffs on Wednesday. However, the White House pressed onward to formalize the measures on Thursday afternoon with assurances from the Commander-in-chief that they will be imposed “in a very loving way.”

Apparently, Canada and Mexico won’t be subjected to the 25-percent tax on steel imports and a 10-percent tariff on inbound aluminum. But the exception may only be temporary and the overall feeling on the tariff proposals are mixed, to say the least. Considering that the automotive industry accounts for a significant portion of the nation’s steel and aluminum imports, Rust Belt states are worried. Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania receive around 20 percent of the steel and aluminum sent to the United States. Each of the states went red in the 2015 election after Trump said he would protect manufacturing jobs. But Trump claims that’s exactly what he’s doing.

Last week the president took to social media to suggest a trade war might be what America needs to scare its partners into playing ball. He later mentioned that the government must protect its workforce, suggesting that the domestic steel industry needs a lot of help.

However, members from his own party requested Trump reconsider his position on the tariffs — stating they could do more harm than good to manufacturing businesses across the nation. Europe urged similar caution, suggesting the decision could harm business relations between the regions (while threatening its own America-specific import fees in response). China also weighed in, saying it might impose its own tariffs on American imports to the country — potentially harming farmers, since China is the biggest buyer of U.S. soybeans.

Canada, which sends more steel to the United States than any other nation, has numerous firms on the cusp of a full-blown freakout. Understandable, considering coiled steel prices are currently at a seven-year high. The Canadian government has similarly expressed its distaste for the White House’s tariff proposals.

Regardless, they’re going through. Trump will sign an order on Thursday over steel and aluminum tariffs that he said could spare certain countries if they have strong trading and military ties with the United States. That’s good news for Canada. Doubly good, since White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told Fox News the levy likely won’t initially apply to NAFTA members. But the assumption here is that the U.S. will continue to use the threat of steel and aluminum tariffs to convince Canada to negotiate a better trade deal during continued NAFTA talks.

Another country unlikely to be affected by the import fees is Australia, which the president called a “long-term partner.” Germany, South Korea, and Japan are also major steel exporters that could find themselves exempt from taxation, based on their military ties to the United States. However, the U.S. currently has a rather large trade deficit with all three.

Bloomberg reports that Trump will sign the formal proclamations on the tariffs Thursday afternoon in Washington, D.C. Afterward, the president will hold a meeting to discuss the choices made. So far, he has said it’s “going to be very fair, we’re going to be very flexible” while still protecting the American workforce. We’ll be sure to update you.

Update: President Trump went ahead with a pledge to impose import tariffs, as described above, on steel and aluminum, signing two proclamations Thursday afternoon at the White House. As expected, Canada and Mexico are exempt from the tariffs, though there’s no guarantee it will stay that way. Trump alluded to “ongoing negotiations,” meaning NAFTA talks, and implied the two trading partners could lose their special status if renegotiations break down.

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  • Voyager Voyager on Mar 10, 2018

    There's a structural trade IMbalance between U.S. and the EU of approx. $ 150 billion each year. https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c0003.html I'd say that if this is caused by treating imported goods differently, the U.S. has every right to even the balance, without even appealing to national security interests. If the trade imbalance is caused by the simple fact that some goods from the EU are perceived as superior by the American consumer (German cars for instance), then U.S. companies do need to become more competitive.

    • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Mar 10, 2018

      So, did you know Australia import twice as much from the US than the US imports from us? So, what tariffs should we place on those terrible Americans?

  • Vehic1 Vehic1 on Mar 11, 2018

    highdesertcat: re: "Obama's epic fail" - remember, he caused the 2008 Great Recession (a year before he was President) and (as the NRA warned us) repealed the 2nd Amendment! But fear not - trump won't let the eco-meanies pry the keys to your pollution-emitting, cancer-causing vehicle out of your cold, dead hands. "Enjoy it while you can" - the midterms are coming, a referendum on trumpy.

    • See 2 previous
    • Highdesertcat Highdesertcat on Mar 12, 2018

      @Lou_BC Thank you. I hope that the Big Guy will enjoy continued success for the duration. For many American citizens their world has changed for the better. But I can understand that for some other far-left liberal American citizens, and also especially illegal aliens, their world has turned into a living nightmare.

  • Jeff S Corey--We know but we still want to give our support to you and let TTAC know that your articles are excellent and better than what the typical articles are.
  • Jeff S A sport utility vehicle or SUV is a car classification that combines elements of road-going passenger cars with features from off-road vehicles, such as raised ground clearance and four-wheel drive.There is no commonly agreed-upon definition of an SUV and usage of the term varies between countries. Thus, it is "a loose term that traditionally covers a broad range of vehicles with four-wheel drive." Some definitions claim that an SUV must be built on a light truck chassis; however, broader definitions consider any vehicle with off-road design features to be an SUV. A [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossover_(automobile)]crossover SUV[/url] is often defined as an SUV built with a unibody construction (as with passenger cars), however, the designations are increasingly blurred because of the capabilities of the vehicles, the labelling by marketers, and electrification of new models.The predecessors to SUVs date back to military and low-volume models from the late 1930s, and the four-wheel drive station wagons and carryalls that began to be introduced in 1949. The 1984 [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeep_Cherokee_(XJ)]Jeep Cherokee (XJ)[/url] is considered to be the first SUV in the modern style. Some SUVs produced today use unibody construction; however, in the past, more SUVs used body-on-frame construction. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, the popularity of SUVs greatly increased, often at the expense of the popularity of large [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedan_(automobile)]sedans[/url] and station wagons.More recently, smaller SUVs, mid-size, and crossovers have become increasingly popular. SUVs are currently the world's largest automotive segment and accounted for 45.9% of the world's passenger car market in 2021. SUVs have been criticized for a variety of environmental and safety-related reasons. They generally have poorer fuel efficiency and require more resources to manufacture than smaller vehicles, contributing more to climate change and environmental degradation. Between 2010 and 2018 SUVs were the second largest contributor to the global increase in carbon emissions worldwide. Their higher center of gravity increases their risk of rollovers. Their larger mass increases their stopping distance, reduces visibility, and increases damage to other road users in collisions. Their higher front-end profile makes them at least twice as likely to kill pedestrians they hit. Additionally, the psychological sense of security they provide influences drivers to drive less cautiously. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sport_utility_vehicleWith the above definition of SUV any vehicle that is not a pickup truck if it is enclosed, doesn't have a trunk, and is jacked up with bigger tires. If the green activists adhere to this definition of what an SUV is there will be millions of vehicles with flat tires which include HRVs, Rav4s, CRVs, Ford Escapes, Buick Encores, and many of compact and subcompact vehicles. The green movement is going to have to recruit millions of new followers and will be busy flattening millions of tires in the US and across the globe. Might be easier to protest.
  • Sckid213 I actually do agree that most Nissans are ultimately junk. (I also think many BMWs are also). I was talking challenging the 3 in terms of driving dynamics. Agree all were failures in sales.
  • THX1136 More accurately said, we are seeing exponential growth in the manufacturing capabilities in this market. Unless, of course, all those vehicles are sold with customers waiting until more a produced so they can buy. Indeed, there are certainly more EVs being purchased now than back in 2016. Is demand outstripping manufacturing? Maybe or maybe not. I sincerely don't know which is why I ask.
  • ToolGuy The page here (linked in the writeup) is ridiculously stupid https://www.tyreextinguishers.com/how-to-spot-an-suvLike, seriously stupid, e.g., A) Not sure that particular Volvo is killing the planet as quickly as some other vehicles we might choose. B) A Juke is "huge"??? C) The last picture shows a RAV4 Hybrid?
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