加拿大和墨西哥将免于进口到美国的钢铁和铝的关税,但不能保证永久是这种情况。

本月前几日美国总统唐纳德特朗普签署了两项宣言,旨在进口两种金属,美国的经济使用远远超过它的产量。

特朗普说:“我们今天采取的行动不是一个选择问题。” “他们是我们国家安全的必要事项。”

一项命令对进口钢铁征收25%的关税,另一项则对铝征收10%的征税。

“他们驱使我们的工厂停业,”特朗普在谈到在美国销售其产品的外国金属公司时说。

特朗普上周首先提出了这项提案,这引发了反对派的呼吁,称这些举措将启动一场来自美国贸易伙伴的互惠拍摄的贸易战。其中最引人注目的是加拿大,其供应量超过美国使用钢材总量的六分之一,占其铝的40%以上。但是,根据1962年很少使用的“贸易扩张法案”第232条颁布的关税,将免除来自加拿大和墨西哥的金属出于国家安全考虑 – 至少在最初阶段。

加拿大钢铁和铝业的所谓“剥离”将允许美国贸易谈判人员拥有一位高级政府官员所描述的关于涉及这三个国家的各种问题的“正在进行的讨论”。

这是对北美自由贸易协定谈判的简单提及,目前正在进行第八轮谈判,因为这三个国家试图更新管理它们之间贸易的超过二十年的旧协议。

在签字仪式上,总统更加直言不讳:“我们将延缓这两个国家的关税,看看我们是否可以就北美自由贸易协定达成协议。”

如果美国没有从谈判中获得让步,那么加拿大金属生产商很快就会发现自己受到与其他人一样的惩罚性关税的限制。

加拿大去年向美国出口了150亿美元的这两种金属,所以关税会很深,并可能对美国进口到加拿大的商品造成某种报复性关税。

“我们的行业被不公平的对外贸易做为多年和多年的目标,”特朗普在签字仪式上说,“而这一切都将停止。”

瞄准全面豁免

加拿大铝业协会总裁兼首席执行官Jean Simard表示,加拿大的豁免是美国政府的积极举措,并补充说它承认加拿大在北美供应基地的战略角色。

“我们的目标仍然是获得全面豁免,我们将在未来数周内与我们的加拿大和魁北克省政府以及我们的美国盟国一起聘请自己,寻找实现完全和永久豁免的途径,”Simard在一份新闻稿中表示。

多伦多MAAW法律的负责人,贸易律师马克华纳称其为加拿大免除关税计划的“小小胜利”。

“今天这是一件好事,”他在接受CBC新闻采访时说。 “我们没有抓住这个东西的应用,”但在北美自由贸易协定讨论的背景下,它可能会很大。

华纳质疑关税是否会影响特朗普正在寻求美国钢铁业。

“我们会看到这真的有多远,”他说。 “当你把加拿大和墨西哥排除在外时,你就会拿出很多美国钢铁进口……实际上,这足以让美国的生产大幅增加,可能不会。”

关税从3月23日开始

一旦订单被签署,新的关税将在3月23日星期五的15天内生效。根据美国法律,根据第232条颁布的关税定义为临时性 – 只有国会有权发布永久关税。

但周四白宫没有表明他们可能会生效多久。

不过,总统确实表示,政府愿意以国家安全为由给予其他国家类似的豁免,就像现在对加拿大所做的一样。

该提案的批评者曾表示,美国钢铁相关行业的就业机会以及消费者价格都将面临沉重的代价。但政府官员驳回了这两种担忧,并指出铝关税的影响将增加1.5到2美分到六罐装啤酒的价格。这位官员举了一架波音777飞机的例子,每架飞机的价格为3.3亿美元。

新的关税规则将增加该飞机价格约25,000美元 – 或不到千分之一的百分之一。
美国众议院议长保罗瑞安星期四早些时候表示,美国应该开始针对倾销中国钢铁和铝而不是特朗普的关税计划的“外科手术”行动。
Canada and Mexico to be exempt from U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum

Canada and Mexico will be exempt from tariffs on steel and aluminum imported into the United States, but there’s no guarantee that will be the case forever.
In early of this month, U.S. President Donald Trump signed off on two proclamations taking aim at the imports of two metals where the U.S. economy uses far more than it produces.
“The actions we’re taking today are not a matter of choice,” Trump said. “They’re a matter of necessity for our national security.”
One order imposes a 25 per cent tariff on imported steel, while another slaps a 10 per cent levy on aluminum.
“They drove our plants out of business,” Trump said, speaking of foreign metal companies that sell their products in the U.S.
Trump first floated the proposal last week, which set off howls of opposition that the moves would kick off a trade war full of reciprocal shots from America’s trading partners. The most notable is Canada, which supplies more than a sixth of all the steel that the U.S. uses and more than 40 per cent of its aluminum.
But the tariffs, which are being enacted under section 232 of the little used Trade Expansion Act of 1962, will exempt both metals coming from Canada and Mexico on national security grounds — at least initially.
The so-called “carve out” of Canadian steel and aluminum will allow U.S. trade negotiators to have what a senior administration official described as “ongoing discussions” about various issues involving the three countries.
That’s a thinly veiled reference to NAFTA negotiations, which are currently in their eighth round of talks as the three countries seek to update the more than two-decade old agreement that governs trade between them.
At the signing ceremony, the president was even more blunt: “We’re going to hold off the tariff on those two countries to see whether we can make the deal on NAFTA.”
That sets up the potential that should the U.S. not get the concessions it wants from those talks, Canadian metal producers could soon find themselves subject to the same punitive tariff as everyone else.
Canada exported a combined $15 billion of the two metals to the U.S. last year, so a tariff would bite deep and likely prompt some sort of retaliatory tariff on U.S. goods imported into Canada.
“Our industries have been targeted for years and years by unfair foreign trading practices,” Trump said at the signing ceremony, “And that’s going to stop.”
Aiming for full exemption
Jean Simard, the president and CEO of the Aluminum Association of Canada, said the exemption for Canada was positive step from the U.S. administration, adding that it recognizes Canada’s strategic role in the North American supply base.  
“The goal remains to get a full exemption and we shall employ ourselves over the next weeks, together with our Canadian and Quebec governments and our U.S. allies, to find a pathway towards a full and permanent exemption,” Simard said in a release.
Trade lawyer Mark Warner, principal at MAAW Law in Toronto, called it “a minor victory” that Canada was exempted from the tariff plan.
“This is on balance a good thing today,” he said in an interview with CBC News. “We didn’t get caught up in the application of this thing,” but it will likely loom large in the background of NAFTA discussions.
Warner questioned whether the tariffs will have the effect Trump is seeking for the U.S. steel industry.
“We’ll see how far this really goes,” he said. “When you take Canada and Mexico out of the equation, you’re taking an awful lot of American steel imports out …. Realistically, is that enough left over there to really ramp up American production in a significant way? Probably not.”
Tariffs start March 23
Once the orders are signed, the new tariffs will be in effect in 15 days on Friday, March 23. Under U.S. law, tariffs enacted under section 232 are by definition temporary — only Congress has the power to issue permanent tariffs.
But the White House on Thursday gave no indication as to just how long they may be in effect.
The president did say, however, that the administration is open to granting other countries a similar exemption on national security grounds, just as it has done for Canada for now.
Critics of the proposal have said that there will be a heavy price to be paid both in terms of jobs from steel-dependent industries in the U.S. and consumer prices.
But the administration official dismissed both of those concerns, noting that the impact of the aluminum tariff would add between 1.5 and two cents to the price of a six-pack of canned beer. The official gave the example of a Boeing 777 jet, with a sticker price of $330 million US per plane.
New tariff rules would add about $25,000 to the price of that plane — or less than one one thousandth of one per cent.
Speaking earlier Thursday, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said the U.S. should begin “surgical” actions against the dumping of Chinese steel and aluminum instead of Trump’s tariff plan.