U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday imposed 25% tariffs on steel imports and 10% on aluminum, but for now he exempted Mexico and Canada pending the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations.
The representative said that the issue of national security was important in those negotiations and in the considerations that led him to apply the exemption. He anticipated that if the negotiations are successful, "we will not have tariffs on Canada and Mexico."
"If we don't make the agreement at NAFTA and put an end to it because they (Mexico and Canada) are unable to make a fair deal for our workers, for our farmers and just for our manufacturers, we will end NAFTA and start over or what we'll do it differently," he warned.
Trump disclosed that the rates will also not affect for a 15-day period some U.S. partners he called "excellent military allies." "Let's see who's being treated fairly and who's not," he added.
He said part of this valuation will include military cut-off aspects: "We subsidize many rich countries with our military. They don't pay 100 cents per dollar, in some cases not even 50 cents per dollar, and they're hugely rich countries, so we have to stop that."