Scott Thompson: Common sense prevails as U.S. drops aluminum tariffs

In this Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, photo Jose Hernandez operates a turret press at the Howard McCray's commercial refrigeration manufacturing facility in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Matt Rourke

That flip-flopping sound you hear is the Donald Trump administration abruptly removing the 10 per cent tariffs on Canadian aluminum as quickly as they were slapped on.

The U.S. president did so a few months ago when the market was reacting to the downturn brought on by COVID 19 using national security as the rational.

READ MORE: U.S. stands down on 10% aluminum tariffs imposed on Canada

Trump is in the middle of an election campaign and this was seen, a few weeks ago, as a way of exciting his base.

However, with an aluminum shortage due to the pandemic, this was hurting Americans as much as anyone.

Click to play video: 'Freeland says U.S. decision to drop aluminum tariffs was ‘not a negotiated deal’'
Freeland says U.S. decision to drop aluminum tariffs was ‘not a negotiated deal’

Canada was hours away from announcing a series of retaliatory tariffs designed to hit Trump right in the swing states.

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Without any indication whatsoever, the U.S. announced Tuesday it was dropping the tariffs, saying the market was to “normalize” by the end of the year.

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That is something that a little forecasting would have provided before any tariffs were laid, but aluminum really isn’t the issue here. The real issue is the Nov. 3 U.S. election.

READ MORE: Canadians’ view of U.S. drops to lowest level in nearly 2 decades: poll

Trump thought he could pull a fast one using the pandemic as leverage, but that backfired when Canada threatened with its own sanctions that would have hurt his election chances in key swing states.

As the finance minister said, common sense prevailed.

Canada stands up, the U.S. backed down.

It would be nice to see Canada use that same courage toward China.

Scott Thompson is the host of The Scott Thompson Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML Hamilton.​​​​


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