The end of last week brought a number of new developments in the ever changing tariff war scene. And it was good to see some positive developments for importers and exporters.
First the U.S. Announced it is lifting the tariffs on steel and aluminum for products coming from Canada and Mexico. This was to become effective by today and may signal we are closer to getting approval of the new US - Mexico - Canada trade agreement (USMCA) In a statement issued by the Canadian government, the two countries will implement effective measures to: Prevent the importation of aluminum and steel that is unfairly subsidized and/or sold at dumped prices; and
Prevent the transshipment of aluminum and steel made outside of Canada or the United States to the other country. Canada and the United States will consult together on these measures.
Additionally, "in the event that imports of aluminum or steel products surge meaningfully beyond historic volumes of trade over a period of time, with consideration of market share, the importing country may request consultations with the exporting country. After such consultations, the importing party may impose duties of 25 percent for steel and 10 percent for aluminum in respect to the individual product(s) where the surge took place (on the basis of the individual product categories set forth in the attached chart). If the importing party takes such action, the exporting country agrees to retaliate only in the affected sector (i.e., aluminum and aluminum-containing products or steel)."
In other developmlents, the U.S also announced it was removing Turkey from the list of developing countries given preferential duty treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences(GSP) which will be disappointing to many importers of Turkish goods. However the Administration is also reducing the tariff on Turkish steel from 50% to 25%.
Finally, President Trump announced May 17 that he is delaying for 180 days a decision on whether to impose new tariffs on imports of automobiles and auto parts. During that time the U.S. plans to hold talks with the European Union, Japan, and possibly others that will likely seek to reduce imports of these goods.
We will continue to monitor the various trade wind developments and keep you advised.