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

Support for ‘Plywood bylaw’ at Langley Township public hearing

Regulation would require polycarbonate in place of plywood to board up buildings in Fort Langley

VIDEO: Driving from Langley to Whistler to help firefighters

Second annual rally for Porsche fans draws increased turnout

VIDEO: Multiple power outages in Langley

Traffic accidents among the causes

VIDEO: Scarecrow festival kicks off in Port Kells

Fourth-annual event will be on until Halloween

Conservation officer frees B.C. deer from flotation gear mishap

BC Conservation Officer Service is reminding residents to keep backyards clear of entanglements

Lions earn stunning 35-32 OT win over Ticats

Epic comeback lifts B.C. past Hamilton in CFL thriller

Czarnik nets 3 as Flames dump Canucks 5-2

Calgary picks up exhibition win over Vancouver

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

B.C. deaf community wants different sign languages on federal accessibility act

Advocates also want Indigenous Sign Language to be recognized on the Indigenous Language Act

Remainder of Vancouver Whitecaps season filled with ‘must-win’ games: coach

With Vancouver currently sitting four points out of a post-season spot, each contest is crucial

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Most Read