WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump enacted steel and aluminum tariffs Thursday (March 8). The tariffs, 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, will take effect March 23.
Mexico and Canada received immediate exemptions from the tariffs – for now.
When contacted by Oswego County Today, Novelis, the world leader in aluminum rolling and recycling, with a major plant in Scriba, made the following statement regarding the tariffs:
“Novelis believes in free and fair trade to ensure a level playing field globally, and we appreciate the administration’s focus on strengthening the U.S. aluminum industry.
“However, broad tariffs on aluminum imports do not target the core problem of aluminum overcapacity in China boosted by government subsidies.
“If the U.S. government is going to impose tariffs, it should focus solely on China.
“In addition, we firmly believe that Canada, as a strong and reliable trade partner to the U.S., can be a significant ally along with others to correct the Chinese overcapacity issue.
“To preserve the health of the U.S. aluminum industry, the administration must exempt Canada from tariffs.
As details are confirmed, we will continue to partner with the Aluminum Association and the administration to arrive at a final outcome that safeguards the long-term competitiveness of aluminum as a material choice for the beverage can, automotive and specialties markets.”
National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn resigned following the president’s unexpected announcement that he planned to enact the trade penalties. Cohn had plenty of company. Many Republicans tried publicly and privately this week to lobby the White House against tariffs, fearing retaliation from trade partners that could escalate to a trade war.