President Donald Trump announced on Thursday he would impose tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum, in a move the administration said would protect U.S. industry, but which critics said would fail to boost jobs and risked stoking a trade war with China.
Trump, speaking after a meeting with U.S. steel and aluminum makers said the duties would be formally announced next week.
“We’re going to build our steel industry back and our aluminum industry back,” he said.
News of the tariffs drove the stocks of U.S. domestic steel and aluminum makers sharply higher, but also hit sentiment on Wall Street due to the potential impact of higher costs on consumers.
The move, which came after what one person with direct knowledge of the discussions described as a night of “chaos” in the White House due to frequent switching of positions in the administration, was sharply criticized by some senior Republican legislators.
“Every time you do this, you get a retaliation. Agriculture is the number one target. I think this is terribly counterproductive for the agriculture economy,” said Senator Pat Roberts, who chairs the chamber’s agriculture committee.
In Canada, Trade minister François-Philippe Champagne said the threat is “unacceptable” and will hurt both countries.
“Any tariffs or any quotas that will be imposed on our aluminum industry, our steel industry, would be unacceptable,” Champagne said.
“We will always stand firm to defend our workers and our industry, we have demonstrated that Canada’s quite capable to do that,” he said.