The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has implemented a tariff of 10 per cent on aluminum products imported from Canada.
Trump made the announcement of an executive order imposing the tariffs on Thursday in a campaign speech at a Whirlpool factory in Ohio.
The United States slapped import tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum in 2018 citing national security concerns, before removing them last year as part of a broad free trade deal now in force.
“My administration agreed to lift those tariffs in return for a promise from the Canadian government that its aluminum industry would not flood our country with exports and kill all our aluminum jobs, which is exactly what they did,” Trump said.
“Canada was taking advantage of us, as usual.”
‘A step in the wrong direction’
Business groups largely oppose the plan, since it will raise costs of the metal for U.S. manufacturers, who will have little option but to pay the tariff and import the metal anyway because the U.S. does not produce enough of the metal to satisfy domestic demand.
Canada supplied about three-quarters of all the aluminum imported into the U.S. between January and May of 2020, said the executive order implementing the tariff on “non-alloyed unwrought aluminum.”
“The administration’s move to reimpose tariffs on aluminum from Canada is a step in the wrong direction,” said Myron Brilliant, head of international affairs for business lobby group U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“These tariffs will raise costs for American manufacturers, are opposed by most U.S. aluminum producers and will draw retaliation against U.S. exports.”