The Trump administration announced this Thursday that it will go ahead and impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from some of the U.S.' neighbors and closest allies on Friday, June 1st. Countries and regions that will be impacted include Canada, Mexico and the EU.
Back in March, President Trump declared that his administration intended to impose global tariffs of 25% on imported steel, and 10% on aluminum based on national security concerns. His administration relies on an obscure law, Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, which authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to conduct comprehensive investigations to determine the effects of imports of any article on the national security of the United States. If a threat is found, the Commerce department will recommend tariffs and quotas to curb imports. But the Trump administration delayed the implementation of these tariffs to some neighbors and allies in order to give them a chance for trade negotiations during which he hoped to achieve significant concessions. But both the negotiations with Canada and Mexico to rewrite the NAFTA agreement as well as negotiations with EU have been slow going. No one seems to take President Trump's tough trade talk seriously.
President Trump finally lost his patience at the sluggish progress of these trade negotiations and he decided to carry out his threats this week. Besides imposing steel and aluminum tariffs on June 1st, it's reported that President Trump is also considering imposing tariffs on imported motor vehicles and auto parts. Is President Trump's latest move a negotiation tactic or a miscalculated move? Depends on whom you ask.