The Trump administration announced it may reimpose tariffs on Canadian aluminum imports, citing damage to domestic markets.
According to media reports, the tariffs, which would come into effect July 1—which is also when the United States-Canada-Mexico free trade agreement begins—would be 10pc. However, imposition of the tariffs could be averted if Canada restricts its aluminum exports to the US, just as it did in May 2019 when tariffs were lifted.
Last month, the American Primary Aluminum Association made a request to the Trump administration to reinstate Sec 232 tariffs on Canadian aluminum. The association noted that since the tariffs were repealed, aluminum imports from Canada have risen by 25pc.
American trade representative Robert Lighthizer told Senator Chuck Grassley from Iowa that, in his opinion, steel and aluminum imports have substantially increased from Canada and Mexico. Lighthizer added that the matter was concerning and that he would take it up with both countries.
However, the Aluminum Association, which represents the largest aluminum producers in the country, such as Alcoa and Rio Tinto, stated that imports have remained unchanged since 2017.
Aluminum producers have grappled with sunken demand since the pandemic began. Alcoa cut production at its smelter in April, while Century reported its lowest quarterly sales since 2017.