Rio Tinto Confident U.S. Will Treat Canada Differently on Trade – by Danielle Bochove (Bloomberg News – February 7, 2018)

The head of Rio Tinto Group’s aluminum division is confident the Trump administration will recognize that Canada must be viewed differently when considering import tariffs on the metal and in Nafta talks.

“There’s a clear recognition of the strategic importance of the Canadian industry to the American manufacturing base,” Alf Barrios, chief executive of Rio Tinto’s aluminum division, said Wednesday in a phone interview. That view was expressed to him in conversations within the last few weeks, he said. “It is different than the other importing countries.”

In January, U.S. President Donald Trump received the findings of the eight-month “Section 232” investigation into whether aluminum imports pose a threat to national security.

The results haven’t been released but could lead to U.S. tariffs and/or quotas on aluminum imports. The president is also looking at a Section 232 study on steel imports.

Meanwhile, the U.S., Canada and Mexico continue to hammer away at a reworked North American Free Trade Agreement.

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