President Trump said Thursday that he will impose tariffs of 25 percent and 10 percent on steel and aluminum imports, but reserves the “right to go up or down” in the future.
Mr. Trump is expected to make the official announcement on his tariff decisions later in the day, but teased his moves during a meeting with his Cabinet.
“We’re going to be very fair and very flexible, but we’re going to be protecting the American worker,” the president said.
The president said he’s still waiting to see what sort of deal can be worked out on an update to the North American Free Trade Agreement to decide whether those two trading partners will get carve-outs.
“If we reach a deal it’s most likely we won’t be charging those two countries the tariffs,” he said.
Mr. Trump also suggested Australia and “some other countries” could get carve-outs because of their status as allies and their more beneficial trade relationship with the U.S.
During the meeting the president also recognized his top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, who is resigning from the White House in the wake of the tariff decision.
“He may be a globalist, but I still like him,” Mr. Trump said.
He said Mr. Cohn is leaving to make more money, but the president said he might come back to the administration in some capacity later.
“I don’t know I can put him in the same position though, he’s not quite as strong on those tariffs as we want him,” the president said.