Eli Ridder | The Avro Post
Canada’s government on Thursday signed a revised Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement and avoided steel and aluminum tariffs put in place by United States President Donald Trump.
Mr. Trump announced a 25 per cent tariff on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum, but Canada and Mexico were given exemption from the border taxes following pressure from both Democrat and Republican Party lawmakers.
Shortly after 3:30 p.m., Trump sign off on two proclamations from Capitol Hill that targeted imports of the two metals, goods that the U.S. uses more than it produces.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will enter any negotiations from countries that wish to avoid the tariffs and strike a deal with Washington, Trump told gathered media, with labour workers flanking his right and U.S. officials on his left.
The president first proposed the tariffs last week, resulting in a harsh response overseas and spurring concerns domestically that it would launch a trade war with traditional U.S. allies and the international community at large.
Ottawa was immediately alarmed as Canada supplies over one-sixth of the steel used the United States and more than 40 per cent of its aluminum, reported the CBC.
Trump made it clear, however, that if negotiations fell through on the North American Free Trade Agreement, Canada and Mexico would be subject to the same tariffs as the rest of the world.
The European Union has vehemently opposed to the tariffs, with Brussels saying they will place levies on specific U.S. goods including cranberries, orange juice, peanut butter, Kentucky bourbon, Harley-Davidson motorcycles and Levi’s jeans.
Overall, some $3.5 billion in annual imports from the United States will be targeted, according to a draft of European countermeasures published by Bloomberg.
Canada signs revised TTP
Canada signed the new iteration of the Pacific free trade agreement along with 10 other countries on Thursday in Chile’s Santiago.
The agreement was revised after Mr. Trump took the United States out of the agreement last year, with the 11 remaining countries working to finalize the one of the world’s three largest trade agreements, according to statistics listed by CBC News.
The deal cuts tariffs from countries that together account for over 13 per cent of the world’s economy, an overall total of $10 trillion.
Minister of International Trade Francois-Philippe Champagne signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership on behalf of Canada before refocusing on the next trade goal for Ottawa: South America’s Mercosur bloc.
Watch the live stream via the White House on YouTube.
Full article to follow. Image of Donald Trump from previous files.