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

Saanich mother’s 1,000 cranes fundraiser takes flight

Raising stem cell donor awareness key

City of Victoria considers scrapping funds for Christmas decorations

City Coun. Ben Isitt doesn’t think the government should pay for any religious symbols

Week of rain expected for Greater Victoria

Wind warning also in effect for much of Vancouver Island

Cluster of convenience coming to Millstream and Treanor in Langford

Residential and commercial development to be completed in three phases

Cranberry fields not forever in British Columbia

Canadians consumed 2.6 kilograms fresh cranberries in 2016, but industry faces challenges

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

BCHL player lifts Canada West to second win at World Junior A Challenge

Chilliwack Chiefs player has a a three-point performance

Well-known B.C. snowmobile guide killed in rollover accident

Shuswap sledding communty mourns loss of experienced Sicamous snowmobiler

B.C.’s skyrocketing real estate market will ‘correct’ in 2019: analyst

Housing prices in Vancouver are set to rise just 0.6 per cent

Climate change, receding glaciers increase landslide risk on B.C.’s Mount Meager

Climate change is causing glaciers atop Mount Meager, in British Columbia, to shrink increasing the chances of landslides and even a new eruption, says one expert.

UK’s May lobbies EU leaders in fight to save Brexit deal

Top European Union officials ruled out Tuesday any renegotiation of the divorce agreement with Britain.

Former Canadian diplomat detained in China amid rising tensions: reports

A former Canadian diplomat has been arrested in China, according to media reports and the international think tank he works for.

In depth: Simple falls causing serious injuries to people over 65

Kelowna’s high population of seniors puts it in the spotlight for how it deals with seniors’ issues

Time magazine’s 2018 person of the year

The group is made up of four journalists and are the “guardians and the war on truth”

Most Read