Deal or no deal: Ng and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland stressed that the U.S. decision was “unilateral.”
“This is not a negotiated deal between Canada and the United States,” Freeland said. “We have not agreed to anything” with respect to quotas, she added.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer warned in a statement that if Canadian aluminum imports were to exceed certain levels during the last four months of 2020, Washington would impose the tariff “retroactively on all shipments made in that month.”
Freeland declined to specify which American imports the government had planned to retaliate against, other than to say “all the best items on the list” Ottawa had published for public feedback on countermeasures.
What’s next: The aluminum industry will watch how shipments play out the rest of the year to see if the Canada-U.S. truce will last. The results of the Nov. 3 presidential election will likely affect the future of the countries’ quarrel over steel and aluminum.