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America’s ‘frankly absurd’ Metal Tariffs just Cranked Up the Stress in NAFTA Talks

America’s ‘frankly absurd’ Metal Tariffs just Cranked Up the Stress in NAFTA Talks

Josh Wingrove and Jenny Leonard – May 31, 2018

Financial Post

 

The U.S. decision to proceed with steel and aluminum tariffs adds a new wrinkle to one of its other most pressing trade files: NAFTA talks with Canada and Mexico.

 

The countries are major U.S. steel and aluminum suppliers and both considered the threat of tariffs to be an irritant at best, an insult at worst. They have also said they would have to respond, raising the prospect of retaliatory penalties.

“I can’t see how treating your deepest trading relationships with acute disregard is going to be treated as anything but bad faith at the NAFTA table,” said Flavio Volpe, president of the Canadian Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association.

 

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Canadian parts association calls for U.S. ‘bully’ to be ‘punched in nose’ over steel tariffs

Thursday, May 31, 2018 @ 2:01 pm – Automotive News Canada

 

The man representing Canada’s automotive parts industry pulled no punches Thursday in responding the United States slapping a 25 per cent tariff on Canadian aluminum and steel.

 

Flavio Volpe, head of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association, unleashed a series of angry tweets following the news that the tariffs will go into effect Friday at 12 a.m. ET.

 

“I expect Canada, Mexico and the Europeans to respond by punching the bully in the nose,” Volpe said. “Probably more importantly I expect major consumers of steel in the U.S. to respond in American courts.

 

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Trump set to impose steel, aluminum tariffs on Canada

Adrian Morrow with Greg Keenan, Auto and Steel Industry Reporter & Lawrence Martin, Public Affairs Columnist

Washington, Toronto and Washington

Published May 30, 2018 – Glove and Mail

 

The Trump administration is planning to impose hefty tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum imports as soon as Thursday – a move that threatens to spark a trade war and blow up already tense negotiations over the North American free-trade agreement.

 

Canada has crafted a retaliation plan that would involve U.S. steel and aluminum and other politically sensitive products, sources briefed on Ottawa’s strategy said.

Flavio Volpe, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association of Canada, echoed Ms. Freeland.

 

“It makes it really difficult to believe that deliberations are in good faith if you’re taking capricious actions like this that really hurt the other parties,” he said. “How do you sit at the centre of the global economy and behave this way?”

 

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Aluminum and steel users disappointed with imposition of hefty U.S. tariffs

By Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press

Posted May 31, 2018 12:26 PM EDT

 

Consumers on both sides of the border could be caught in the middle of a trade war as businesses slap them with higher prices to offset the impact of billions of dollars worth of reciprocal tariffs announced by the United States and Canadian governments.

 

The federal government announced Thursday afternoon that it would impose some $16.6 billion in dollar-for-dollar counter-tariffs on a wide variety of United States goods — everything from whiskey to sleeping bags to quiche — that will take effect on Canada Day.

Faced with thin margins, automakers will have to make a difficult choice: Pass along the 25 per cent tariff on steel and 10 per cent rate on aluminum and risk getting stuck with inventory, or absorb the increases and reduce profits, said Flavio Volpe, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association.

 

Public companies may feel pressure from shareholders who would expect them to fight the U.S. government in court and get an injunction, he said in an interview.

 

“There’s a whole bunch of scenarios, none of which makes American automakers more competitive,” he added.

 

“On a long-term basis, if you’re raising the price of probably the biggest raw material input in a vehicle, you’re going to make any production of vehicles in Canada and the U.S. less competitive against foreign manufacturers and it might suddenly make Asian imports more attractive to consumers.”

 

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Nick Persichilli

Senior Manager, Stakeholder Relations & Business Development

Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA)

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Tel: (416) 620-4220 Ext 224 ♦ Cell: (416) 804-6339 ♦ Fax: (416) 620-9730

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