🚨 The US appears to have agreed to drop its tariffs on Canadian aluminum - but could reimpose them if exports cross a certain volume.
Will take a while to go through those numbers and figure out what they mean.

But it looks like there’s some sort of movement from the US. Canada was about to impose retaliatory tariffs today at 3 pm — and several were going to hit key presidential swing states.
Just heard from a Canadian official and there’s no “agreement” or deal to speak of. Canada hasn’t agreed to anything: the US simply lifted its tariffs (with some conditions) and that’s what Canada wanted.
Here’s our first story on the US dropping tariffs against Canada. From @OttawaReporter cbc.ca/news/politics/…
Since we’re on this story today let’s revisit the first place I ever heard about this push to impose new aluminum tariffs on Canada.

Two opeds in the Washington Times from Corey Lewandowski and Mike Huckabee. Who happen — and only just happen — to be lobbyists. ...
Here are the pieces The Washington Times ran from Trump insiders Corey Lewandowski and Mike Huckabee — who also happen to be lobbyists — pushing for tariffs on Canada. (The tariffs were imposed then dropped today)

I just got one detail from the hit list of American products that never wound up coming into effect.

Remember that Ohio washing-machine plant where Trump announced tariffs on Canada?

Canada was going to hit that plant with retaliatory tariffs at 3 pm today.
Question: Has anyone from the aluminum industry, government, or a think-tank done the math on how likely Canada is to surpass these US volumes (and ultimately get a tariff anyway?) If so, please DM me.

I've been checking and am drawing a preliminary conclusion. But want to check
Okay we’ve updated our story on the tariffs. New headline: U.S. drops aluminum tariffs on Canada — for now.

The US announcement is timed to have this issue revisited right after the presidential election.

How so? The US unilaterally set monthly limits - kind of like a unilateral involuntary quota - that starts in September.

Then it said it’ll review the data six weeks after the end of each month.

Gee, what’s the date six weeks after the end of September?
Why.... that’s the week right after the US presidential election of Nov. 3!

And as Canada made clear it was getting ready to hit politically inconvenient targets for Trump. Like the Ohio plant where he spoke.

That pushes this issue until after his re-election fight is over.
So what about those import volumes the US says it will allow from Canada?

We checked, then double-checked with industry people. They - to use a non-technical term - stink for Canada.

By my own calculus Canada has surpassed those volumes for 13 consecutive months and
frequently surpassed them before then.

So bottom line: this is not the end of hostilities between Canada and the US on aluminum.

More like a suspension of hostilities. With a US election in the meantime.


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More from @Alex_Panetta

20 Sep
Some context on the reporting of this piece. So I reached out to a historian who specializes in the American founding to test out a contrarian take to the doom-and-gloom about the tensions in American democracy right now. I asked him about a very plausible scenario:
I asked whether the founders might have thought a President Biden and a deeply conservative court in constant conflict, blocking, checking each other’s ambitions, would have been *exactly* what they intended. Meaning, the system working as designed. To which his....
His reply was basically, lol, no dude, our republic is in greater peril than at any moment since the Civil War.

The longer answer was some founders - Madison - would have appreciated the thwarting of presidential power.

But he would have expected it from Congress. Not SCOTUS
Read 7 tweets
5 Jun
“Why military men speaking out against Trump is an 'extraordinary' event in American democracy.” My story on a very unusual, disquieting series of events. cbc.ca/news/world/tru…
One interesting point I didn’t manage to get into the story was something raised by a couple of civilian-military relations experts:

The US military is an extremely diverse institution. @smsaideman called the Pentagon the most diverse place he ever worked. So... 1/
2/ So the point raised by some was: Imagine what deploying to US streets in this context, over this issue, might do to the unity of an institution filled with white soldiers and black soldiers. Like, take the disputes within the NFL and imagine them within the US military over
Read 6 tweets
6 May
I talked to a few epidemiologists and went over datasets and papers to try answering a question lots of Canadians have been asking: Why is the coronavirus death rate so much higher in the United States?

Three reasons kept coming up.

Very often, the conversation is all about Trump, Trump, Trump.

But when you talk to people who study this stuff, and look carefully at the numbers, you see 3 things contributing to the far higher US rate.

Politics is just one. 2/
The three reasons:

—Systemic problems with US health care

—Yes, politics

—The misfortune of the most densely populated city in the country getting hit early. New York’s subway system became a transmission vector before its *5.4 million* daily commuters knew what hit the city
Read 18 tweets
26 Mar
Canadian government folks sound genuinely perplexed that there are people in the White House who think there’s any threat of Canadians fleeing to the country with the fastest growth of COVID-19 cases in the world.
But they’ve confirmed details of the Global story and we’ll have some more in a bit.
Meanwhile, a word from the 44th president. Cc @David_Moscrop
Read 8 tweets
11 Oct 18
More on the first item: New and unprecedented forms of American power may have just been entrenched in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, in a series of little-advertised negotiating achievements. So, people have been focusing on just one — the so-called ‘China’ clause. But 1/
2/ But we count at least six provisions in the USMCA give the U.S. the power to scrutinize, micromanage, or punish its neighbors' trade policies. The agreement is stuffed with new reporting requirements to monitor, and potentially punish, things like dairy policy or trans-shipped
3/ goods to crack down on duty evasion. A hat tip here to the really smart women who pointed some of these things out to me: @paraguarosada, a former US State Department official who now works in Ottawa, says the Trump administration has “deputized” Canada and Mexico in its war
Read 15 tweets
2 Oct 18
Some of what we’ve learned: The final ‘i’ dotted, the last ‘t’ crossed, that cemented the NAFTA deal Sunday night was Lighthizer, Freeland, and their teams working out a tariff threshold for Canadian autos so high that it basically is more symbolic than real. 1/
2/ You’ve perhaps seen the details about no-auto-tariffs-ever unless Canada exports 44% more cars to the US? Apparently it goes beyond that — adjustments include switching to the more generous (NAICS) import coding system. Basically, Canada isn’t hitting these #s anytime soon
3/ Our reporting shows two distinct narratives on How The Deal Went Down. They’re not necessarily mutually exclusive. But in the 🇺🇸 gov’t telling: “We scared Canada with tariffs, they gave us dairy, we got a deal.” In the 🇨🇦 govt telling: “Um, we offered the dairy thing weeks
Read 8 tweets

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