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

Kelowna RCMP look for alleged theft suspect

The alleged theft of a wallet was committed inside a Kelowna business

RCMP look to reunite cash with owner

The owner accidentally donated the money to the Salvation Army in a piece of clothing

Kelowna chamber to host proportional representation debate

Proponent and opponent of changing the provincial election system will argue their sides Oct. 17

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Kootenkoff: “Legalization” Delayed – What Took them So Long?

—By Susan Kootnekoff Was the impact on road safety just an inconvenient… Continue reading

Sunny skies for the week ahead

Environment Canada is forecasting clear skies for the Okanagan and Shuswap

South Okanagan man alleged to have exposed genitals to children

Penticton RCMP said incident occurred at the Kiwanis Park

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Sockeye run in Shuswap expected to be close to 2014 numbers

Salute to the Sockeye on Adams River continues until Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

5 tips for talking to your kids about cannabis

Health officials recommend sharing a harm reduction-related message.

Resolution found in Vernon car-surfing death case: defence

Byron James Walterhouse will appear to fix a date for disposition Oct. 18

Most Read