Trump to make announcement on steel, aluminum tariffs

Later today President Trump is expected to announce new tariffs on steel and aluminum

U.S. President Donald Trump says his big tariff announcement is coming today, even as his White House wrestles internally over the policy, numerous political allies warn him against it and the rest of the world watches warily.

”Looking forward to 3:30 P.M.(ET) meeting today at the White House,” Trump tweeted.

“We have to protect & build our steel and aluminum industries while at the same time showing great flexibility and co-operation toward those that are real friends and treat us fairly on both trade and the military.”

It’s expected Canada and Mexico will get some form of provisional exemption.

The White House indicated Wednesday that the two North American neighbours might get what’s being deemed a national-security carve-out — but that it might only be temporary, and would depend on how those countries behave at the NAFTA negotiating table.

RELATED: Trump tweets that steel, aluminum tariffs stay unless there’s a new NAFTA deal

There has been an intense 11th-hour debate within the U.S. administration over how to design the policy. Amid the uncertainty, today’s event was initially left off Thursday’s White House public schedule.

A senior adviser also indicated Wednesday that any relief for Canada could be very short-lived.

In fact, it sounded a bit like a negotiating threat. Peter Navarro said relief from the roughly 25 per cent steel and 10 per cent aluminum tariff would be tied to how those countries respond at the NAFTA table.

One report in the Washington Post said among the plans being discussed is to grant Canada and Mexico relief for just 30 days — then extend it if there’s progress in the next round of NAFTA talks.

“Within about 15 to 30 days the tariffs go into effect (for most of the world),” Navarro told Fox Business Channel late Wednesday, adding that steel workers would be present for a presidential proclamation-signing ceremony.

“The proclamation will have a clause that does not impose these tariffs immediately, on Canada and Mexico. It’s gonna give us … the opportunity to negotiate a great deal for this country. And if we get that, then all’s good with Canada and Mexico.”

RELATED: Trump promises big tariffs on steel, aluminum; impact on Canada still unclear

On Wednesday, 107 congressional members of Trump’s Republican party produced a letter expressing deep concern over the policy and urging him to significantly scale it down. The controversy has produced a rare public backlash against the president from Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Expect a low-key response from Canada if Trump indeed intends to use temporary tariff relief as a bargaining threat. That means no talk of walking away from the table, nor any hint of making concessions under pressure.

“Our position hasn’t and won’t change,” one Canadian source said. “We’re after a good deal, not any deal. We’ll take no deal rather than a bad one.”

Alexander Panetta, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Blue Tie Campaign set to tee off Aug. 25

Annual event is fundraiser for the Island Prostate Centre

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

Four people sent to hospital in crash near Qualicum Beach

Fire crews worked alongside paramedics: Dashwood fire dept.

Sisters share exhibit in Qualicum Beach

From gnomes and fairytales to trees and texture, but plenty of connections between pair

VIDEO: Jazz greats sound off in Parksville

Concert featured Phil Dwyer music academy faculty

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

Thousands to attend funeral service for officers killed in Fredericton shooting

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

VIDEO: Ground crews keep a close eye on largest B.C. wildfire

Originally estimated to be 79,192 hectares, officials said more accurate mapping shows smaller size

Canadians believe in immigration but concerned about asylum seekers: study

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada paid for study to understand Canadian attitudes

These are the highest-paid actresses of 2018

In its list released this week Forbes said all 10 earned a total of $186 million before tax

VIDEO: Fires break out in scrap piles at mill on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo firefighters got blazes under control in early morning hours Saturday at Harmac Pacific

Two hurt in car wreck on old Island Highway

Honda and Volkswagen crash at 10 p.m. Friday at highway intersection in Nanaimo

Authorities mull evacuation order for Zeballos

Smoke billowed from the steep hillsides of Zeballos on Friday evening, as… Continue reading

Most Read