WASHINGTON — The U.S. will follow through with a plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union (EU), Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday.
“We take the view that without a strong economy, you cannot have strong national security,” Ross told reporters in a press call.
Ross later told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” that the decision to implement the tariffs is “a reflection that the discussions” to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement “didn’t get far enough to justify another postponement or an exemption.”
In March, the Trump administration announced plans to implement a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports. Though the plan is primarily designed to crack down on Chinese trade abuse, the administration targeted close U.S. allies as well.
Canada, Mexico and the E.U. were given a two-month exemption. The exemption expires at midnight tonight and the tariffs will go into effect.
Several of the targeted nations have threatened to impose retaliatory tariffs.
U.S. markets took a hit following Thursday’s announcement. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down more than 220 points from its opening as of 11:30 a.m. EDT.
Earlier this week, the administration announced plans to impose $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods.
This article is republished with permission from Talk Media News
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