U.S. proposed steel, aluminum tariffs leave uncertainty for BC site

He said if the tariffs on steel and aluminium exports to usa are implemented, the Canadian government would have no choice but to withdraw from North American Fair Trade Agreement renegotiations.

The looming departure of White House economic adviser Gary Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs executive who has opposed the promised tariffs, set off anxiety among business leaders and investors anxious about a potential trade war.

And now he's committed Canada to an 11-nation trade partnership with Pacific Rim countries without USA involvement, a deal that will permit, among other things, more foreign auto imports into Canada - which has already infuriated US automakers and Canada's auto workers. She said the national security exemption would be on a "case-by-case" and "country-by-country" basis.

Negotiators from the U.S., Canada and Mexico wrapped up the seventh round of Nafta talks this week in Mexico still hoping for a breakthrough on the biggest sticking points.

With national security as the primary issue, it would be hard to apply the tax to South Korea and Australia, meaning that they could ultimately land on Russian Federation more than nearly any other country, said Levy, now at adjunct professor at Northwestern University.

"We are disappointed, to say the least, that the Trump administration would impose a potentially debilitating tariff on aluminium imports from the Kitimat smelter", said O'Driscoll.

If Nafta talks fail, Canada and Mexico would face the same tariffs as other nations, Navarro added.

Members of the administration have repeatedly said that the cost of the tariffs will be minimal for American consumers. "It's very important for employees and supplier chains".

The official insisted that was untrue.

"Donald Trump doesn't care much about the rules", he said.

The fact that Canada might be included on the initial hit list had become a political sore spot for the administration, as USA critics of the move ridiculed it by zeroing on the idea of national-security tariffs against a peaceful next-door neighbour and defence ally.

The statement doubled-down on similar comments earlier on Thursday that Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo made prior to Trump's announcement.

Canada's ambassador to Washington dined this week with USA national-security adviser H.R. McMaster; Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, and Transport Minister Marc Garneau all reached out to cabinet counterparts in recent days.

"We encourage the Government of Canada to ensure that steel and aluminum are not dumped into Canada, and that the Canadian Border Security Agency is appropriately staffed, resourced and financed to deal with this issue", according to the Chamber's press release.

The lobbying found a mostly receptive audience: the USA military strongly resisted tariffs against allies and 107 congressional Republicans released a letter this week to express alarm over the move. Other American allies could use a similar system to ask for an exemption, he said.

Trudeau, in contrast, literally grew incoherent trying to explain Canada's steel and aluminum trade relationship with the US a week ago. Cohn's "resignation has signaled higher risk of a trade war".