United States President Donald Trump signed his two tariffs on Thursday, surrounded by workers. “A strong steel and aluminum industry is vital to our national security, absolutely vital. Steel is steel, you don’t have steel you don’t have a country,” Trump said during the signing, he added that foreign imports of steel and aluminum and dumping have caused “closing of plants and mills as well as laying off millions of workers.
This is not merely an economic disaster, but it’s a security issue, we want to build our ships, we want to build our planes with material from our country. We’re finally taking action to correct this long overdue problem.
Today I’m defending America’s national security by placing tariffs on foreign imports of steel and aluminum.”
The new tariffs, which charge 10 percent on aluminum imports and 25 percent on steel imports will go into effect in 14 days. In an unexpected move, the president did exempt both Mexico and Canada from the tariffs while the U.S., Canada, and Mexico continue to try to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Many people across the world, as well as in his own country are not happy with the new tariffs, with Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan speaking out on Thursday, “I am pleased that the President has listened to those who share my concerns and included an exemption for some American allies, but it should go further. We will continue to urge the administration to narrow this policy so that it is focused only on those countries and practices that violate trade law. Our economy and our national security are strengthened by fostering free trade with our allies and promoting the rule of law.”
While many people are upset about the new tariffs, just as many are voicing support that Canada is exempt, at least for the time being. Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau released a statement on Friday saying that, “The discussion around the steel and aluminum tariffs clearly demonstrates the strength of our relationship. There’s an understanding that we trade together, that we’re part of an integrated North America.”
Benjamin Diaz started working for Debate Report in 2017. Ben grew up in a small town in northern Ontario. He studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married his wife a year later. Benhas been a proud Torontonian for the past 10 years. He covers politics and the economy. Previously he wrote for CTV News and the Huffington Post Canada.