Justin from Canada presents one of the most ridiculous contexts for the U.S. 232 Steel and Aluminum tariff decision. Justin proclaims the imposition of countervailing duties by the U.S. indicates that President Trump considers Canada a national security threat. Seriously, I’m not kidding, that’s what he is stating – watch. Additionally, his feelings are hurt.
Apparently Justin from Canada cannot draw a distinction between an industry being lost, and that loss being a national security risk, and the hurt feelings of the Canadian Prime Minister. Intensely ridiculous… even for Justin. Obviously the irrational liberals in both the U.S. and Canada will likely draw the same ridiculous and illogical conclusions.
China, the EU, Canada and Mexico have been exploiting weak U.S. trade policy for years. Through the effective utilization of targeted tariffs, with multiple opportunities -and warnings- to avoid the outcome, President Trump and Wilbur Ross cut the Gordian Knot.
The Big Club, driven almost entirely by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Tom Donohue are going bananas….. They can’t believe Trump actually did it. He actually followed through. The Wall Street consortium of multinationals are apoplectic.
Decades of economic gaslighting upon the U.S. electorate; massive manipulative multinational corporate influences; hundreds of millions spent purchasing U.S. politicians; and POTUS has just punched it all square in the face.
Amid ongoing trade stalemates with NAFTA and the EU, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the U.S. Commerce Department will no longer provide exemptions for the European Union, Canada or Mexico on Steel/Aluminum tariffs.
In addition, a week ago, President Trump “instructed Secretary Ross to consider initiating a Section 232 investigation into imports of automobiles, including trucks, and automotive parts to determine their effects on Americas national security.
Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 (19 U.S.C. §1862) 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. As often stated by President Trump, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross: “economic security is national security.”
In its current form NAFTA became an exploited doorway into the coveted U.S. market. Asian economic interests, large multinational corporations, invested in Mexico and Canada as a way to work around any direct trade deals with the U.S. By shipping parts to Mexico and/or Canada; and by deploying satellite manufacturing and assembly facilities in Canada and/or Mexico; China, Asia and to a lesser extent EU corporations exploited a loophole.
Through a process of building, assembling or manufacturing their products in Mexico/Canada those foreign corporations can skirt U.S. trade tariffs and direct U.S. trade agreements. The finished foreign products entered the U.S. under NAFTA rules. This exploitative approach, a backdoor to the U.S. market, was the primary reason for massive foreign investment in Canada/Mexico; it was also the primary reason why candidate Donald Trump, now President Donald Trump, wanted to shut down that loophole and renegotiate NAFTA.
Why ship directly to the U.S., or manufacturer inside the U.S., when you could just assemble in Mexico and Canada and use NAFTA to bring your products to the ultimate goal, the massive U.S. market?
All nuanced trade-sector issues put aside, the larger issue is always how third-party nations will seek to gain access to the U.S. market through Canada and Mexico. [It is the NAFTA exploitation loophole which has severely damaged the U.S. manufacturing base.] President Trump, Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S.T.R. Lighthizer well understand this structural problem. ONLY Trump, Ross, Mnuchin and Lighthizer were willing to confront this problem. If Trump had lost the election, Clinton would have joined the multinationals and U.S. workers would have suffered greatly.
The issue of Canada/Mexico making trade agreements with other nations (especially China), while brokering their NAFTA position with the U.S. as a strategic part of those agreements, is a serious issue that could not adequately be resolved while U.S. remains connected to NAFTA. With the tax reform benefits, American workers are realizing they are getting more money in their paychecks; and as the U.S. economy continues to gain momentum, that’s the backdrop timing for President Trump/Sec Ross making the announcement today.
The Automobile Sector is one of the biggest points of contention within varying trade negotiations. In the NAFTA discussion the auto-sector, via rules of origin, runs at the heart of NAFTA’s fatal flaw. The fatal flaw = use of Asian, mostly Chinese, auto components within auto manufacturing. Mexico and Canada arguing to allow more Chinese auto parts in North American manufacturing; and President Trump demanding more North American parts for North American auto manufacturing.
The auto-sector is representative of much of the manufacturing exploitation by multinational corporations beyond vehicle production. China has supported the exploitation because they produce the components for multiple sectors (furniture, appliances etc).
The auto-sector is much more than just complete assembled vehicles. In many ways the core trade issues of part origination, manufacturing and assembly of multiple durable goods sectors are represented within the auto industry process.
Current trade negotiations with the EU, China and NAFTA reached a loggerhead status around these core issues. Multinational ‘Wall Street’ corporations unwilling to lose their prior multi-billion investments and take a new ‘America-First’ approach. POTUS Trump is rightly angered by many of them because he specifically offset any investment losses with a new U.S. corporate tax structure.
All of that said, the issues with the auto-sector have now rippled out into other trade sectors with discussions coming to a standstill until the auto issues are resolved. Enter President Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross with the plan.
Knowing all of the outlier, generally lesser, trade sectors are being impacted over the Chinese auto component issue, President Trump cuts the Gordian Knot and tells Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to consider a Section 232 review of auto industry as it pertains to imports.
Additionally, amid ongoing trade stalemates with NAFTA and the EU, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has announced the U.S. Commerce Department will no longer provide Steel and Aluminum tariff exemptions for the European Union, Canada or Mexico. During a telephone briefing with reporters today Secretary Ross announced at midnight tonight the 25% steel, and 10% aluminum, tariffs on imported goods will begin.
Australia, Brazil and South Korea (KORUS) have completed trade agreements with the U.S. and will remain exempt from any countervailing steel and aluminum duty. However, Canada and Mexico (NAFTA), as well as the EU, have been unwilling to reach reciprocal and balanced trade agreements with the U.S. and will now be subject to the tariff.
“The United States was unable to reach satisfactory arrangements, however, with Canada, Mexico, or the European Union, after repeatedly delaying tariffs to allow more time for discussions.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce representing Wall Street multinational interests are going bananas. DC politicians, and the multinational media, who are fully purchased by the U.S. CoC lobbyists are attacking the Trump administration….. all predictable.