This could be a move to leverage trade deal negotiations with the countries involved while protecting American manufacturers. Trump has used this tactic before, and time will tell if this strategy works moving forward, especially with NAFTA negotiations continuing.
The Trump administration will levy hefty steel and aluminum tariffs on the European Union, Canada and Mexico starting on Friday, a move likely to lead to retaliation and risk the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Thursday said President Trump has decided to end the temporary exemptions for the three key trading allies despite their two months of lobbying to avoid the tariffs.
“We look forward to continued negotiations with Canada and Mexico on one hand and with the European Commission on the other hand as there are other issues we need to get resolved,” Ross told reporters on a conference call.
Ross said the White House would need to see the reactions of Canada, Mexico and the 28-nation European bloc before determining what to do next.