Trump signs new tariffs into law; exempts Canada, Mexico

Trump signs new tariffs into law; exempts Canada, Mexico
(Image: Screen grab of AP video, YouTube)

[Ed. – I’m not in the doom-n-gloom camp on this — it doesn’t put Armageddon on the horizon “yet again” — but I also don’t like tariffs on principle.  What “protects” one industry damages another, and pushes up costs and prices for Americans in general.  That said, this is basically an old-fashioned, pre-GATT use of tariffs to compel negotiation from trading partners, and is likely to have that effect to at least some extent, when the shouting dies down.]

President Donald Trump, following through on one of his most controversial campaign promises, signed two proclamations Thursday that implement tariffs on imported steel and aluminum but exempt Canada and Mexico. …

The tariffs will take effect in 15 days.

The moves will slap a 25 percent levy on steel and 10 percent charge on aluminum. White House officials say the tariffs are an essential matter of domestic and economic security.

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In addition to the exceptions for the two NAFTA partners, the White House will give other nations the opportunity to justify why they shouldn’t be included. …

Determining further exceptions will depend on whether countries can convince Trump that there’s a “satisfactory alternative means” for resolving trade inequities, said an administration official familiar with the tariff proclamations who spoke on condition of anonymity.

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