- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The Trump administration said Tuesday it will no longer slap a 10% tariff on Canadian aluminum but reserves the right to reimpose the levy if imports surge above anticipated levels.

President Trump announced the tariff during a stop in swing-state Ohio in August, arguing Canada broke its word and flooded the country with the metal, imperiling U.S. aluminum jobs.

Industry representatives questioned the announcement, saying the president appeared to be using pandemic-related market trends for political reasons, and Ottawa threatened retaliation.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative on Tuesday said it looked at the data and “determined that trade in non-alloyed, unwrought aluminum is likely to normalize in the last four months of 2020, with imports declining sharply from the surges experienced earlier in the year.”

Based on those expectations, it decided to lift the 10% tariff and resume duty-free treatment of Canadian aluminum retroactive to Sept. 1.

It said the U.S. may reimpose the levy if imports end up exceeding anticipated levels.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley said it was the right move.

“I’m glad tariffs will not be re-imposed on Canadian aluminum. It’s ridiculous to think that aluminum imports from our Canadian friends present a national security concern,” the Iowa Republican said. “The problem isn’t Canada; it’s China, whose massive subsidies have distorted the international marketplace for aluminum.”

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