The US government is about to impose Canada with tariffs on its steel and aluminum imports.
As of midnight on May 31, a 25% tariff on steel and a 10% tariff on aluminum from the European Union, Canada and Mexico will go into effect, according to the New York Times.
Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary, broke the news on a call with reporters Thursday morning.
Blaming large trade deficits with Mexico and Canada in March, US President Donald Trump said that he’d be imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum unless a “fair” NAFTA deal is signed.
In a series of tweets shared at the time, Trump expanded on his initial plans to implement tariffs after an announcement he made in March.
“We are on the losing side of almost all trade deals. Our friends and enemies have taken advantage of the US for many years. Our Steel and Aluminum industries are dead. Sorry, it’s time for a change,” said Trump. “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
In response, Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that as the number one customer of American steel, “Canada would view any trade restrictions on Canadian steel and aluminum as absolutely unacceptable.”
“The United States has a $2-billion surplus in steel trade with Canada. Canada buys more American steel than any other country in the world, accounting for 50% of US exports,” said Freeland in a statement.
Last week, Trump said that Canada is “very spoiled” and “very difficult to deal with” in North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations.
He has yet to tweet about this morning’s announcement.