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

Construction of LNG Canada plant still on hold

Construction will only begin following a positive final investment decision

VIDEO: Watch ex-Kitimat video director Stephano Barberis’ new reel, featuring his own new music

Breathe of My Leaves music project debuts ‘Chimera’ album of electronic sounds

Sulphur dioxide pollution over Kitimat could be eliminated after 2024

New process will eliminate SO2 as a byproduct

Kitimat, Terrace home sales up from 2017

Optimism surrounding a potentially positive LNG decision one of the factors

B.C. Green Party pushes for wild salmon commissioner

The role would serve as a unifying force in the provincial government

Vancouver Island girl scores with winning song for BC Summer Games

‘Colours’ is a perfect theme for 2018 BC Summer Games

Update: Wildfire northwest of Kamloops jumps from 60 to 800 hectares

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 50 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

B.C. pipeline goes ahead despite scrapped Pacific Northwest LNG

NEB approves amendment for $1.4-billion natural gas North Montney Mainline Project

Feds limit chinook fishery to help killer whale recovery

Chinook is main food source for only 76 southern residents killer whales left

B.C. mom who died just before daughter’s wedding wanted family to be happy: twin

Ann Wittenberg was pulled into the ocean while on a surf board in Tofino last weekend

Courtenay-Alberni MP calls for lifeguards at popular surf spot near Tofino

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is defending its decision to cancel the surf guard program.

Harvey Weinstein to surrender in sex misconduct probe: officials

Would be first criminal charge against Weinstein since scores of women came forward

Media are not an arm of the police, Vice lawyer tells Supreme Court hearing

Ben Makuch challenges Ontario Court of Appeal ruling that he must give materials for stories to RCMP

B.C. launches plan to tackle doctor shortage, emergency room congestion

John Horgan aims to set up regional primary care networks in a ‘team-based’ approach

Most Read