In line with its free trade regulations, the US is more than welcome to defend itself when it counterparts aren’t playing the game fairly. But it has to watch its step when it chooses to pick a fight, which was proven with its examinations of Chinese steel and aluminum imports.
For years, China has been overproducing important metals and putting low-quality material on the market as a result. The cheap aluminum sheet and aluminum wire, in particular, may have to be used by dependent companies and the US government for military machines. Through the Section 232 law, both the Obama administration and the Trump administration have taken action, most recently the launched investigations and proposed trade law exceptions.
Unfortunately, for the rules of Section 232 to be followed, the aluminum imports from not only China, but also those from Canada, must be evaluated. This is so simply due to the fact that China only contributed to 8.5% of the US’s international aluminum, while Canada contributed to over 50% of it. Despite its non-threatening status due to its close ties with the US, Section 232 requires the investigation of its imports as well.
Canada is understandably upset by this news, especially because it may need to put importation taxes into place alongside the US since the aluminum industry in both countries overlaps a great amount. The US should have gained support from other countries instead of going the Section 232 route, but now that it’s in, we hope it comes out unscathed and friendly with Canada again.