In late June, as the auto sector prepared to shift to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, reports began circulating that the Trump administration was considering reimposing a tariff on aluminum imports from Canada.
The possibility of the tariff — just as the long-awaited trade pact was going into effect — disappointed many in the industry, with trade groups representing automakers and parts suppliers urging the administration to focus on a successful transition to USMCA.
The concern grew when President Donald Trump declared this month a 10-per-cent tariff on some Canadian aluminum imports, effective Aug. 16. Some in the industry see it as another obstacle stacked on top of COVID-19 stress and USMCA compliance.
The outcome of the November election could be the tipping point. If the tariff remains in place long term, costs will increase up and down the supply chain.