Amid reports that U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is considering slapping tariffs on aluminum imports from Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the U.S. “needs Canadian aluminum” and would only be hurting its own economy.
“We have heard, obviously, the musings and proposals from the United States that perhaps there needs to be more tariffs on aluminum,” Trudeau said from the front steps of Rideau Cottage on Monday.
“What we simply highlight is: the United States needs Canadian aluminium.”
Trudeau explained that the United States does “not produce enough, nowhere near enough” aluminum to fill domestic manufacturing needs. This means if it slaps tariffs of the Canadian aluminum it has to buy anyways, it’ll simply increase the cost for the American consumer.
Sources say the announcement is possible in the coming weeks.
Should the U.S. decide to re-impose tariffs on Canada, it would re-open a trade rift between the two countries that had been healing since similar tariffs were lifted just over a year ago. The trade spat saw tariffs lobbed back and forth between the two countries, including Canada’s decision to slap tariffs on a wide array of U.S. products including quiche, mayonnaise, and toilet paper.
The agreement to lift those tariffs came amid indications that new NAFTA trade talks were moving in a positive direction in May 2019. That trade agreement has since been ratified by all three countries — Canada, the U.S., and Mexico — and comes into effect on July 1.