The tariffs, set to take effect in 15 days, do not apply to imports from Canada and Mexico so that U.S. officials can assess progress as they renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Other countries with a “security relationship” to the United States may seek exemptions by opening talks with the administration on “alternative ways” to address the threats the administration alleges their products pose to national security.
“You don’t have steel, you don’t have a country,” Trump said at a White House ceremony where he signed separate proclamations for steel and aluminum. “Our industries have been targeted for years and years, decades in fact, by unfair foreign trade practices leading to the shuttered plants and mills, the laying off of millions of workers, and the decimation of entire communities. And that’s going to stop. It’s going to stop.”
The tariffs mark Trump’s most significant move to date to protect domestic industries from foreign competition, part of a campaign promise to unwind free trade pacts Trump blames for undercutting U.S. manufacturing and hurting the blue-collar base that helped propel him into the White House.
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