USA drops tax on Canada aluminum, heading off retaliation

Provided by The Canadian Press

The retreat comes as Parliament is set to resume with a throne speech on September 23, which Trudeau has promised will outline "a detailed vision for the future and a plan to keep Canadians safe while we rebuild a stronger Canada that works for everyone".

One senior government official said the US statement contained language about what the Trump administration "expects" from Canada but said "it's important to note Canada has agreed to none of that".

"Accordingly, the United States will modify the terms of the 10 per cent tariff imposed in August on imports of Canadian non-alloyed unwrought aluminium".

The USTR said that trade in non-alloyed, unwrought aluminum is likely to normalize in the final four months of 2020 and will be removing tariffs retroactive to Sept 1.

Canada threatened a dollar-for-dollar retaliation that was expected to be announced Tuesday.

A senior Canadian government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Canada had made no concessions. Freeland and Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade Minister Mary Ng announced the decision to drop their plans for countermeasures during what was supposed to be a press conference to outline Canada's plan of attack.

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As soon as Trump said the new tariffs were coming, Canadian officials said they planned to hit back with $3.6 billion in dollar-for-dollar retaliatory countermeasures once the industry was consulted on a broad list of potential products to slap tariffs on.

"Canada's aluminum industry is glad to regain its continued tariff free entry into the USA market, as it strives to meet its integrated value chain requirements in a post-COVID recovery", said Simard in a written statement to the Star.

"This is the US deciding to drop the tariffs" before a scheduled 3 p.m. news conference by Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland which was set to unveil Canada's list of American products targeted for tariffs.

The government had already issued a list of possible products on the target list, including beverage cans, washing machines and golf clubs.

The trio wrote to Trump asking him to consider the "negative consequences" for consumers and American suppliers. The U.S. has for years claimed that Canada has been "dumping" high volumes of aluminum into the U.S., which has in turn depressed prices enjoyed by American upstream producers.

Canadian leaders said they welcomed the U.S. decision and that, in response, they would suspend the plans to impose tariffs on C$3.6bn ($2.7bn, £2.1bn) in USA aluminium products.

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