On Tuesday, United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced that the U.S. will drop tariffs on imports of Canadian aluminum.
President Trump reimposed the 10 percent duty in August after the U.S. failed to get Canada to impose quotas on its exports of the metal and reportedly witnessed surges of imports in Canadian aluminum. In recent days, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau threatened to retaliate by imposing his own import duties.
The action is retroactive to September 1. Lighthizer, however, set monthly quotas of 83,000 tons in September and 70,000 tons in October and December, warning that if shipments exceed these expectations “the United States will impose the 10 percent tariff retroactively on all shipments made in that month.” Notably, Ottowa has warned the U.S. that while they are pleased by the move, Canada has not agreed to honor these expectations.
Canada has abandoned its plan to retaliate for now but has emphasized that they will not hesitate to impose their own import duties should the U.S. reinstate the duties. Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland declined to specify which American imports the government had planned to retaliate against, other than to say "all the best items on the list" Ottawa had published for public feedback on countermeasures. Mary Ng, Canada’s International Trade Minister, stated that “Canada has not conceded anything. Our motto has always been we will not escalate, but we will not back down.”