Here We Go Again: Trump Wants New Tariffs on Canadian Aluminum
Just days before a new trade deal among the United States, Canada, and Mexico is set to take effect, the administration is reportedly considering reimposing tariffs on Canadian aluminum that it had dropped in order to negotiate the deal.
Whether or not the 10 percent tariffs become reality again, the incident seems to demonstrate—once more—that foreign nations have little to gain by negotiating trade deals with America while Donald Trump remains in office. As long as America’s trade policy is being directed by tempestuous protectionists, it will be difficult for any foreign leader to trust that the U.S. is negotiating in good faith.
Restarting an unnecessary and counterproductive trade skirmish with a close ally and key trading partner would also demonstrate that the president has learned nothing from more than two years of failed tariff policies.
“Bringing back these tariffs would be like a bad horror movie,” Neil Herrington, a senior vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told The New York Times. If they are enacted, Canada will likely retaliate with tariffs on American goods, likely souring any goodwill that might have been generated by the upcoming official launch of the United States–Canada–Mexico Agreement (USMCA).
The Trump administration imposed 10 percent tariffs on nearly all aluminum imports (and 25 percent tariffs on most steel imports) in March 2018 for shallow “national security” reasons. A year later, the White House lifted those tariffs on imports from Canada and Mexico after congressional leaders and foreign officials said this would be a necessary first step to reaching the tripartite trade deal that Trump sought to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Under the terms of the new deal, the United States retains the righ
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