Tariffs Less About China; More About NAFTA, Canada

Tariffs Less About China; More About NAFTA, Canada

Tariffs Less About China; More About NAFTA, Canada

On Monday, Trump explicitly linked the fear of tariffs on steel and aluminum to the ongoing negotiation of NAFTA, then his trade czar elaborated: Robert Lighthizer said the U.S.is in a hurry to get an immediate NAFTA deal, and if it happens quickly Canada and Mexico just might avoid tariffs.

"No, we're not backing down", he said. "We're comfortable that we're going to manage through this so that it is not detrimental to our growth projections", he said.

The Trump administration launched a Section 232 investigation past year into the impact of imported steel and aluminium on the U.S.' national security.

There's a final scramble on to spare Canada from the impact of the US tariff plan, which could be announced as early as Thursday. "So we are now putting forward the position to the United States that we believe Canada should be exempt from any tariffs on steel or aluminum".

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Many observers read that as a softening of his stance to have no exemptions, and that sent global financial markets roaring back Tuesday.

Eighty-six per cent believe U.S. President Donald Trump will exit NAFTA or will attempt to negotiate unfairly in favour of U.S. interests and 92 per cent say Canada should be looking to strengthen trade partnerships with other countries, particularly in Europe and Asia.

No, President Trump, it's not true that if you tax imported steel, we "will have protection for the first time in a long while".

The idea of tariffs on Canada is even becoming a political liability for the administration: for those Americans bashing the steel and aluminum plan, the notion of a trade war against Canada has actually become a favourite talking point.

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The apparent decision on Canada and Mexico is more evidence of the impulsiveness and unpreparedness with which Trump often makes policy. GOP congressional leaders said they may seek to prevent the tariffs if the president moves forward. Section 232 of the U.S. Trade Expansion Act of 1962 gives the president the power to impose restrictions on imports to protect national security.

And now, Donald Trump insults us. His protectionist rhetoric won over voters in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and helped secure him the White House.

Along with Netanyahu, Trump reiterated that the United States "did a bad business deal" with the NAFTA, in force since 1994. He listed the major US priorities as new rules for auto parts, more Buy American-friendly public procurement policies, and provisions that keep jobs on American soil.

Lighthizer made public remarks that appeared to confirm something he allegedly told members of Congress behind closed doors a few weeks ago - leaving a meeting, they said he'd described the negotiations with Canada as more hard and was willing to complete talks with Mexico first. "We win when we work together; when we build markets together and supply chains together". That's not fast enough, current USA trade czar Robert Lighthizer said at the close of a round in Mexico City. "They'll like us better, and they will respect us much more", he said. And that is where the tariffs and the possibility of a trade war are hitting so much closer to home in all three countries involved in the NAFTA talks. He said the United States is prepared to walk away from the three-way negotiation and seek separate deals with Mexico or Canada.

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