President Trump's controversial plan to levy hefty tariffs on imported steel and aluminum will initially exempt Canada and Mexico and give other trading partners a short window to seek exclusions from the measure, according to one of the president's trade advisors. It was unclear how long the temporary exemption for Canada and Mexico would last, but Navarro told Fox News on Thursday night that the tariffs -- 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum -- would take effect in 15 to 30 days. He said Mexico and Canada, both major exporters of steel and aluminum to the U.S., would be able to avoid the tariffs for good if they made a "great deal" in renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The Trump administration is separately trying to rewrite NAFTA, but talks have progressed slowly. Both Mexico and Canada have balked at Trump's move to link the NAFTA renegotiations with the impending tariffs.
NAFTA, a 24-year-old pact among the three nations, eliminated duties on almost all goods traded among the countries, as well as opening up investments and other commercial activities.
Instead of across-the-board tariffs, some have argued for targeted measures to address the problem of a global glut of steel that is rooted in China's overproduction.
Others besides the EU will likely join in contesting the tariffs with the WTO, the international arbiter of trade disputes, but there is practically no legal precedence on such cases. And at any rate, a decision-and-appeal process could take years to work through the WTO process.
Given that Canada and Mexico are our biggest steel suppliers, this makes sense and gives the NAFTA negotiators more leverage in adjusting that trade pact.
Even though we only import 3% of our steel from China, its chronic overproduction, with the tightening of the US market for imports, will cause the EU and Brazil to start to put pressure on China to cut production, which will help everyone in the long run.
Here's CNN just hours ago, trying to sew the confusion narrative:
White House is in confusion over timing and details of tariffs rollout - www.drudge.com
I saw it this morning, and now, it's nowhere to be found on any of their main pages. I had to google it using a few words from the headline to find it again.
So what is it, US steel jobs are important, or Canadians can take those jobs?
Is US steel going to bounce back because 3% are no longer being imported from China?
These tariffs are simply pandering to trade morons.
They might work as NAFTA threats, but only if the US gets something for the steel jobs it gives back.
So which is it, are US steel jobs important or is NAFTA renegotiation important. I doubt the US will get both.
Trump and the GOP are just flailing and arm flapping for the benefit of trade morons, without a coherent plan on how to create good jobs in the USA.
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