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Trump expected to formally order tariffs on steel, aluminum imports

Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2018 at 8:30 am

(NPR)

President Trump is expected to sign a formal order imposing steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum as early as Thursday. It’s the boldest move to date for the president who campaigned on a protectionist platform sharply at odds with Republicans’ free-trade orthodoxy.

“We’re going to build our steel industry back, and we’re going to build our aluminum industry back,” Trump said when he first announced the proposed tariffs on March 1. He also said, “They’ve been horribly treated by other countries, and they have not been properly represented. More importantly, because of that, workers in our country have not been properly represented.”
Trump’s plan calls for a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent levy on imported aluminum. Although the president prefers to apply the tariffs on imports from any country, some exceptions could be made.

“There are potential carve-outs for Mexico and Canada, based on national security, and possibly for other countries as well,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday.

Canada is the leading supplier of imported steel and aluminum to the U.S., accounting for 16 percent of imported steel and 41 percent of imported aluminum, as CNBC has reported.