In an unprecedented announcement this afternoon, President Donald Trump announced a sweeping new series of tariffs on imports of foreign steel and aluminum. Video of the signing of the tariff order, along with the President’s comments, is included below.
After some discussion with those opposed to tariffs, the President did include exemptions – for Canada and Mexico specifically – that will ease the effect on the cost of consumer goods for Americans and metals used for defense.
A 25% tariff will be imposed on steel and a 10% tariff on aluminum will take effect in 15 days.
The tariffs already seems to be having an effect – U.S. Steel has already announced plans to reopen a shuttered plant and hire 500 workers as a result of the President’s plans.
The people briefed on the plans say all countries affected by the tariffs are being invited to negotiate for exemptions, if they can address the threat their exports pose to the U.S.
Those briefed on the plans say the exclusion for Canada and Mexico could be ended, if talks stall to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The people were not authorized to discuss details in advance and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Trump also suggested Australia and “other countries” might be spared.
Trump has said the U.S. will be “very fair” but “very flexible” and “protect the American worker.”
Trump tweeted Thursday: “Looking forward to 3:30 P.M. meeting today at the White House. We have to protect & build our Steel and Aluminum Industries while at the same time showing great flexibility and cooperation toward those that are real friends and treat us fairly on both trade and the military.”
The White House said Wednesday that Mexico, Canada and other countries may be spared from tariffs under national security “carve-outs.”
Following is video of the President’s comments, along with the signing of the tariff order, from the official White House video feed.