Revival of North American economy will negate need for aluminum tariffs, Trudeau tells Trump – by James McCarten (Canadian Press/Globe and Mail – July 14, 2020)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged U.S. President Donald Trump to think twice Monday before imposing new tariffs on Canadian aluminum, saying the sector is emerging from the pandemic-induced production stance that prompted the White House to consider such measures in the first place.

Mr. Trudeau, who said in a news conference he had spoken to the U.S. President earlier in the day, told him that with the North American economy getting back up to speed, Canada’s aluminum smelters would soon be back producing value-added specialty products for the U.S. auto sector.

The spectre of new tariffs emerged last month after Canadian producers, unable to shut down production and with their usual customers hamstrung by the impact of COVID-19, were forced to make a more generic form of aluminum and ship it to warehouses in the U.S.

That alarmed certain U.S. smelter owners and operators, who have been urging the U.S. trade representative’s office to slap fresh levies on imports from Canada.

The pandemic “caused certain disruption in the aluminum sector that is starting to realign itself, given the economies are starting up again and manufacturing is getting going,” Mr. Trudeau said after his call with Mr. Trump.

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