WASHINGTON – A Canadian source close to the ongoing talks to resolve U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum is insisting Canada is not about to agree to quotas or other limits on its exports in order to get the levies lifted.
The source, speaking on condition of anonymity in order to discuss sensitive negotiations, calls the idea of a quota system ridiculous and a concession that Canada is not prepared to make.
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That’s despite other sources saying quotas have been on the table as the two sides work towards getting the tariffs lifted before voters south of the border head to the polls for midterm elections Nov. 6.
Donald Trump imposed the so-called Section 232 tariffs – 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum – back in June on national security grounds.
But the levies, which the U.S. president says helped to expedite a new North American trade deal, did not go away when the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement was reached at the 11th hour last month.
Canada imposed retaliatory tariffs on nearly $13 billion worth of U.S. imports – measures that are being felt in places like Kentucky, home to Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and Kelly Craft, the U.S. ambassador to Canada.