A report by The Washington Post says US President Donald Trump plans to announce tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from Canada, Mexico and the European Union. The announcement is anticipated to come as early as today.
The newspaper, which cites three unidentified sources, said the US president decided to escalate his global trade war because he is “frustrated” by the fact that his business partners did not accept his demands.
“The import taxes could come into effect as soon as this Friday,” said the newspaper.
The newspaper said that the decision will probably have an immediate impact on global trade in steel and aluminum, particularly between the United States and Canada, the main supplier of steel to the United States.
They noted however, that the internal decision process remains fluid and that on three occasions the president has been persuaded to impose tariffs at the last minute.
In April, the Trump administration extended the exemption to Mexico, Canada and the European Union to June 1. In mid-May, US Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, indicated that President Trump would decide whether to extend tariff exemptions to Mexico or Canada depending on the status of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations.
On Wednesday, the US Chamber of Commerce (USCC) made a call to President Trump to perused him to scrap his plan to impose tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, warning that it would be a tax on American consumers.
“The United States should not expand import tariffs on steel and aluminum imports to additional countries as of June 1, as it has been threatened,” said USCC Vice President of International Affairs Myron Brilliant.
“Such an action would impact US manufacturers with higher costs, slower growth in the construction sector and put a brake on job creation in both key industries,” he said.
The US business leaders noted that steel prices in their country are already almost 50 percent higher than those in Europe and China, while aluminum prices have been “extremely volatile.”
“This action would add substantially to those challenges,” Brilliant said.
The EU has threatened to impose retaliatory tariffs on US orange juice, peanut butter and other goods in return if the US moves ahead with the tariffs.
In March, Trump said Mexico would remain exempt from the tariffs in exchange for a “fair agreement” regarding NAFTA, however, Mexico said it would not be pressured.