Canada, Mexico could be excluded from steel and aluminum tariffs, Mnuchin says


And, apparently, upset many usually in the Trump camp.

"At this stage we can not measure the impact of the tariff".

In testimony before a House appropriations subcommittee, the Treasury secretary said he has been in contact with his counterparts on the specifics of the tariff proposals and "we're trying to deal with this on a case by case basis".

Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro and Commerce Secretary Wilber Ross may now be looking for a "carve-out" for Canada, that may only invite others to seek the same. "We knew a decision would come".

Flake joined MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Tuesday to criticize Trump's plan to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum.

Wait? Is that the same president Trump that lashed out against both Canada and Mexico today?

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Mr. Lighthizer said the US would prefer to reach a three-way agreement on Nafta but would still consider bilateral accords if that isn't possible. Then, in a tweet on Monday, he said Canada and Mexico could eventually be exempted, but only when they agreed to a "fair" new NAFTA. Knowing the game could end in higher tariffs for US farm products, they are engaging with more reliable suppliers.

"I think at its simplest, the argument that more than $500 billion of US exports to Canada and Mexico are at risk in the absence of NAFTA is very powerful for our USA friends".

Last year Rio Tinto and the other aluminium producers in Canada exported a combined 2,759,000 metric tons of aluminium, valued at over USA $5.6 billion, to the U.S. And some of the areas like (auto) rules of origin are really fiendishly complex.

"The timeline is always very important".

President and CEO of the Aluminium Association of Canada, Jean Simard, said the problem wasn't the export of Canadian aluminium to the USA, rather the export of aluminium from China.

But, he said, countries that don't like the sound of that should make him an offer.

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Trump has alleged that the USA faced severe losses in trade pacts with Canada and Mexico, the two partners of NAFTA deal. The U.S. proposes upping the percentage of value added in the United States from 62 percent to 80 percent, Marshall said.

The European Union this week threatened retaliatory levies on politically sensitive USA goods, and China last week sent an economic envoy seeking to clarify US demands.

"With Trump in power, the aluminium industry is also up in the air", were Simard's prophetic words at the time. "The new tax reform law has boosted the economy and we certainly don't want to jeopardize those gains". "As president Trump has said, we hope for a successful completion of these talks and we would prefer a three-way, tripartite agreement", he said.

The escalating row comes as the United States, Mexico and Canada renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that has linked their economies since 1994, and which Trump has called the worst deal his country has ever signed.

"If the USA does unilaterally withdraw from NAFTA, all bets are off", Monex Canada's Berich said. The NAFTA talks should further expand on this opening in the Mexican energy market. This includes allies such as Japan, South Korea and the European Union, who have already voiced their plans for retaliation. "They transship all through other countries and you'll see that a country that doesn't even have a steel mill is sending us 3 per cent steel, for our country", he said.

The Canadian government isn't celebrating yet.

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The seventh round of Nafta talks wrapped up Monday in Mexico City, with the threat of potential steel and aluminum tariffs overshadowing progress on parts of the 24-year-old trade deal between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. "We are focused on making North America more competitive in the world and creating more jobs".

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