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Canada welcomes US decision to drop aluminum tariff

September 16
13:18 2020

Ottawa, Sep 16 (IANS) Canada welcomed the US decision to drop tariff on Canadian aluminum imports.

At a press conference in Ottawa Tuesday afternoon, Canadian Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland welcomed the decision. “This is really a day when common sense has prevailed.”

Freeland stressed that the US decision was not a negotiated agreement with Canada and the US government acted “unilaterally” and Canada does not accept the imposition of quotas.

“Should tariffs be reimposed, Canada will retaliate with perfectly reciprocal dollar-for-dollar tariffs,” Freeland said.

Meanwhile, Canadian Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade Mary Ng said at the press conference that Canada did not concede anything in exchange for the US decision. “It is a testament to the Team Canada approach, as we all worked relentlessly to ensure these unjustified tariffs on Canadian aluminum were removed.”

US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer announced Tuesday afternoon that the United States has dropped its 10 per cent tariff on Canadian aluminum.

“Average monthly imports are expected to decline 50 per cent from the monthly average in the period of January through July,” he said. “Based on these expectations, the United States will resume duty-free treatment of non-alloyed, unwrought aluminum retrospective to September 1, 2020.”

“If actual shipments exceeded 105 percent of the expected volume for any month during the four-month period, then the United States will impose the 10 percent tariff retroactively on all shipments made in that month,” he added.

The US statement was announced Tuesday afternoon before Canada was set to unveil retaliatory measures on US imports.

On Tuesday noon, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that his government will unveil its retaliatory measures against the US tariff later on Tuesday.

“We will be taking action to counter the unjust tariffs put on Canadian aluminum by the United States. As I’ve said many times we will always be there to defend Canadian workers, defend our aluminum sector,” Trudeau said in a statement.

Last month, US President Donald Trump announced that he would impose a 10 per cent tariff on Canadian aluminum during a campaign speech in Ohio, citing national security concerns.

In response, the Trudeau government responded quickly by saying that Canada “intends to swiftly impose dollar-for-dollar countermeasures.”

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