Canada and Mexico will benefit from a steel and aluminum tax “exemption”, the time to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), but the United States still has not rule out the possibility that their neighbors would be taxed if the talks were going to fail.
In an interview with the Fox Business Network on Wednesday, Commerce’s chief adviser to trade, Peter Navarro, confirmed that “the [tariffs] decree will include a clause that states that Canada and Mexico will not be taxed. at once. This will give us the […] opportunity to negotiate an excellent agreement for our country.
Canada and Mexico will be given the chance to negotiate a fair NAFTA. If we get that, they will not be affected by the rates. [Thursday] will be a good day for the United States.
Peter Navarro, President Trump’s Trade Advisor
According to sources in the Trump administration quoted by the Washington Post and Reuters, Canada and Mexico would in fact be exempt from the tariffs in question for a period of 30 days, renewable according to the progress made in the renegotiation of NAFTA .
Earlier, the White House had already indicated that the rise in US tariffs would be examined on a case-by-case basis for each country, with the possibility of exemptions, taking into account national security criteria.
A few days ago, the Trump administration invoked the argument of national security to justify the imposition of such taxes. This measure would have a significant impact on Canada, the largest exporter of steel and aluminum in the United States.
Donald Trump will sign the decree to increase US tariffs on steel and aluminum imports Thursday afternoon at the Oval Office, surrounded by workers from both sectors, Navarro said.
The internal pressure in Washington for Mr. Trump to re-evaluate his approach was illustrated Wednesday by a letter from 107 Republicans to Congress, who expressed deep concern over the president’s plans.
Trudeau does not advance on a possible response
I was very, very clear with [American President Donald Trump] that it would be absolutely unacceptable to impose tariffs on the import of steel and aluminum from Canada.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Asked on Wednesday about Donald Trump’s threat to impose high taxes on Canadian steel and aluminum, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau does not advance on a possible response to the United States, unlike the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Chrystia Freeland, who announced Monday that “appropriate and quick” measures would be taken if the US president decided to implement his threat.
Since then, Chrystia Freeland has spoken with US House Leader Paul Ryan in the NAFTA negotiations. On Wednesday night, Canadian Ambassador David MacNaughton will meet with US National Security Advisor H. McMaster.
US and Canadian economies closely linked
The imposition of taxes on steel and aluminum would affect the economy on both sides of the border, according to Trudeau.
“Our economies are so well integrated with these metals that it would have an impact on tens of thousands of workers in Canada in these two industries. But also jobs on both sides of the border that depend on the import, processing and use of these metals, “said the prime minister.
“We fought and died together,” said Justin Trudeau, recalling the strong historical and economic ties that unite the two countries.