Published: Sun, March 11, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Trump exempts Canada from trade tariffs for now

Trump exempts Canada from trade tariffs for now

Perhaps there's no success like failure for Trump, but the costs will be heavy for US exporters and workers.

Brazil, the second-largest exporter of steel to the US, is also the largest importer of USA metallurgical-grade coal to fuel the steelmaking furnaces.

"The 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent tariffs on aluminum will increase the cost of production for goods and items that use these materials", he said.

Yesterday, President Trump signed two tariff proclamations, imposing a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum.

Analysts believe the new tariffs will increase the costs consumers pay for a new vehicle in the U.S. "This exclusion reinforces Mexico's role as a partner of the U.S. in terms of trade and national security".

"Thanks to these actions, we reoriented our imports of steel to North America, showing that it is possible to address this problem and to comply with our global commitments within the framework of the World Trade Organization", the government said.

But automakers could absorb price increases or figure out some other way to offset the increases, Dziczek said.

"We feel they (steel prices) will continue to go up", said a third source.

General Motors doesn't expect the tariffs to hurt that much, partly because of its long-term contracts. He promised them tariffs, not a swift trade deal.

"We are committed to working with the Administration to find a long-term solution within the new framework that supports jobs in the USA auto industry and across the supply chain".

Trump ordered a probe into whether steel imports threaten USA national security last April.

Earlier in the week, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross tried to downplay the impact by going on television with a can of Campbell's Soup and telling viewers its price would increase by a fraction of a penny. It also allowed companies to immediately write off the cost of their capital investments, which is a huge benefit to capital-intensive industries such as steel and aluminum production. "This is not a step in the right direction", said MEMA President and CEO Steve Handschuh.

Housing trade groups also took a dim view of the tariffs, saying the policy would lead to higher costs and hinder development at a time when the nation faces a severe shortage in homes and rental housing.

The National Association of Home Builders noted the tariffs would pile on more costs on builders and, ultimately, homebuyers.

Following the announcement of the USA import tariffs, the Mexican government recalled that, more than two years ago, in light of the global steel overcapacity, it took "timely" and "effective" measures to defend its industrial sector, raising import tariffs.

The tariffs are welcome news for aluminum and steel companies, however.

After a almost year-long investigation, President Trump took action on Thursday to curb steel and aluminum imports.

Much as Mexico's trade surplus with the USA has been growing, it is not because the country hones Trump-like trade mercantilism ("exports good, imports bad"), takes advantage of the US or generally runs a big trade surplus with the world.

"Already, more than 500 people are headed back to work in Granite City, as U.S. Steel announced it will restart a blast furnace there".

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