Steel mills in Hamilton, Ont., operate on March 4, 2009. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

Trump considers global steel tariffs, potentially hitting Canada

Canada is the United States’ biggest supplier of both steel and aluminum

The United States has fired a warning shot in what could become a global trade war.

It’s threatening to clobber worldwide steel and aluminum imports with tariffs.

The U.S. administration has delivered a series of recommendations to President Donald Trump, and he must decide on a course of action by April.

What he decides to do holds major consequences for Canada — the biggest supplier of both steel and aluminum south of the border.

READ MORE: Trump team drops hints NAFTA end not imminent

One option would see the U.S. impose a 24 per cent tariff on steel imports from everywhere — including Canada. Another option would see a 53 per cent tariff on a smaller list of countries that does not include the northern neighbour.

That latter list includes Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, India, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.

A third option would see the president simply ignore the recommendation, or follow an entirely different course of action.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the recommendations Friday.

“If (Trump) goes the targeted route, Canada would be excluded,” Ross told a conference call. “The blanket tariff alternative and the blanket quota alternative would target all countries.”

The ultimate decision rests with the president, the commerce secretary cautioned: “(Trump) will decide what he’s going to do… He is not bound by these recommendations… He could do something totally different — or do nothing.”

The recommendations released Friday also include aluminum. The president is being asked to consider a 7.7 per cent tariff on all aluminum exports from all countries, or a 23.6 per cent tariff on just a few countries: China, Hong Kong, Russia, Venezuela and Vietnam.

The proposals also call for the use of quotas.

The options suggested include limiting all countries to steel exports equal to 63 per cent of their 2017 exports into the U.S., or a more severe quota for a smaller list of countries if Trump goes the more targeted route.

Ross said he anticipates countries might fight back: “It wouldn’t surprise us if there were (retaliation).”

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

WATCH: Marine security company posts live seal cam at Oak Bay Marina

Seals tend to loiter near the fish-cleaning table

Victoria woman experiencing homelessness wants systematic changes as she faces losing her truck

Willi Boepple fears losing one of her last possessions after being inundated with parking tickets

UPDATED: Two-sailing wait at BC Ferries Swartz Bay terminal

Passengers destined for Tsawwassen without a reservation should allow for extra time at terminal

End of an era as Buddies Toys leaves Oak Bay Avenue

Victoria location merges with parent shop in Sidney

Tour de Victoria: The downlow on detours in the region

Thousands of cyclists participating in ninth Tour de Victoria

WATCH: Family dog missing after fire tears through Metchosin home

Firefighters continue to monitor for hot spots

Victoria Shamrocks open WLA finals at Q Centre in Colwood

Team is evenly matched in championship series against Maple Ridge Burrards

‘Easy Rider’ star Peter Fonda dies at 79

Actor and writer was nominated for an Oscar for co-writing the 1969 psychedelic road trip movie

Excavators help cute kid who copied their dig with his toys stay “safe at work”

Carson Carnegie wakes up at 7:00 am every morning to watch construction work on his street

Bob Lenarduzzi out as Vancouver Whitecaps president

MLS team is at the bottom of the Western Conference standings

B.C. daycare operator denies negligence in death of ‘Baby Mac’

Infant died in early 2017 after biting an electrical cord, according to a lawsuit filed by his mom

BC SPCA reopens animal cruelty investigation at Abbotsford pig farm

Additional alleged footage released from Excelsior Hog Farm sparks new investigation

RCMP on Vancouver Island seek information on alleged ‘breaking out’ bandit

Man alleged to have hid in Nanaimo business washroom ceiling overnight, took monitors

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read