OPINION: Trump’s metal tariffs end up favoring China’s steel and aluminum over Canada’s – by Erin Dunne (Washington Examiner – February 11, 2019)


President Trump has many justifications for his tariffs: national security, pushing back on unfair trade deals, and protecting American manufacturing. Not on the list: playing favorites with Chinese imports over those from neighboring Canada. But through the convoluted exclusions process of U.S. tariffs, that’s exactly what has happened.

As the CBC reported, about 40 percent of U.S. imports of Chinese steel have been excluded from the 25 percent tariffs imposed by the Trump administration and 86 percent of imports of Chinese aluminum, otherwise subject to a 10 percent tariff, have been excluded.

For comparison, only 2 percent of U.S. imports of Canadian steel are free from tariffs and less than 1 percent of aluminum. So how did this happen?

The problem begins with the easy sounding solution of tariffs. Since the U.S. steel and aluminum industry can’t actually produce as much of the metals as the market demands, imports remain necessary. That means that there is a necessary process of dolling out exclusions for steel and aluminum that the U.S. needs.

That exclusions process starts when importers file an application to import their product, in this case steel or aluminum, tariff-free. Then, U.S. manufactures can file objections followed by a review process to determine if the objection is credible.

For the rest of this article: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/trumps-metal-tariffs-end-up-favoring-chinas-steel-and-aluminum-over-canadas