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Economy & Jobs

What You Need to Know About Implementing Steel and Aluminum Tariffs on Canada, Mexico, and the European Union

2 minute read

WHAT: President Donald J. Trump is implementing steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, Mexico, and the European Union following months of discussions to address United States national security concerns.

Today, President Trump announced that he is taking action to protect America’s national security from the effects of global oversupply of steel and aluminum. Following extensive discussions and a months-long process, the President will implement tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union.

The implementation of steel and aluminum tariffs follows the announcement by President Trump on March 8, 2018, of a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports.

In the initial proclamations in March, President Trump welcomed any country with which the United States shares a security relationship to discuss alternative means to address threatened impairment to the national security caused by their steel and aluminum exports to the United States. The President made it clear that the Administration was willing to work with those countries to find separate arrangements that would meet the national security requirements of the United States.

The United States has reached an arrangement with South Korea on steel, which was announced on April 30. Included in today’s proclamations, the United States has reached arrangements on steel with Australia, Argentina, and Brazil, and with Australia and Argentina on aluminum.

The United States was unable to reach satisfactory arrangements, however, with Canada, Mexico, or the European Union, after repeatedly delaying tariffs to allow more time for discussions.

WHY: Current quantities and circumstances of steel and aluminum imports into the United States threaten to impair national security. These excessive imports are driven in large part by the worldwide glut from overproduction by other countries.

In January 2018, the Department of Commerce delivered two reports on steel and aluminum investigations conducted under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.

The reports found that the excessive level of imports threatened to impair the national security because further closures of domestic production capacity would result in a situation where the United States would be unable to meet demand for national defense and critical infrastructure in a national emergency.

On March 8, President Trump accepted the Department of Commerce’s recommendations and began to take action to address the threatened impairment to America’s national security.

Read more about President Trump’s Section 232 action here.