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UPDATED: Canada excluded from U.S. steel, aluminum tariffs

UPDATE: Canada and Mexico have been given an indefinite exclusion on aluminum and steel tariffs. Donald Trump signed them Thursday, and they will go into effect for the rest of the world in 15 days.

Grande Prairie – Mackenzie MP Chris Warkentin hopes there’s truth to the White House saying Canada and Mexico might be excluded from new tariffs on steel and aluminum. While the Peace country wouldn’t be significantly impacted, he’s very concerned about what they could mean for the country overall.

“There will be other communities that will be very hard hit by these tariffs and there is a possibility that these tariffs will lead to immediate layoffs in production facilities across Canada.”

Right now, the proposed tariffs are 25 per cent on steel imports and 10 per cent on aluminum across the board, but White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday Canada and Mexico might get a “carve-out” for reasons of national security. Warkentin wants to see Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to get involved.

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“That he’ll get engaged, get down to the United States and work cooperatively with the American counterparts to ensure that this doesn’t affect Canada. As of yet, we’ve heard from ministers that they’re concerned about this, but no real plan in terms of what they’re going to do.”

The move by Trump comes on the heels of duties imposed on Canadian softwood lumber. Warkentin wants to see more action from Ottawa on that front as well.

“What we’re hoping is that the Canadian government will find a long-term solution… What we need to ensure is that we can get our products to the American market and resolve some of these outstanding situations.”

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to sign off on the steel tariffs Thursday afternoon.

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