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U.S. abruptly reverses course, lifts tariffs on Canadian aluminum

Last Updated Sep 15, 2020 at 3:30 pm EDT

Aluminum in a smelter is seen at the Alouette aluminum plant in Sept-Iles, Que. on May 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
Summary

U.S. says it will lift the tariffs retroactive to Sept. 1 because it expects Canadian exports to "normalize"


It says it will continue to monitor trade in aluminum and reimpose the tariff if levels spike unexpectedly


U.S. imposed the tariffs last month at the request of two American manufacturers


The United States is standing down in its tariff dispute with Canada and lifting a 10 per cent levy on aluminum imported from north of the border.

The office of the U.S. Trade Representative says it will lift the tariffs retroactive to Sept. 1 because it expects Canadian exports to “normalize” over the remainder of the year.

In a statement, the USTR says it will continue to monitor trade in aluminum and reimpose the tariff if levels spike unexpectedly.

The sudden about-face comes just hours before the federal Liberal government was expected to announce a suite of countermeasures in retaliation for the tariffs.

The government had already issued a list of possible products on the target list, including beverage cans, washing machines and golf clubs.

The U.S. imposed the tariffs last month at the request of two American manufacturers, prompting an outcry from Canadian producers.