Exact details of new United States aluminum and steel tariffs remain unclear after White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters on Thursday that the percentages and final plan will be released next week.
President Donald Trump declared a new 25 percent tariff on steel and a ten percent tariff on aluminum, during a White House meeting with industry stakeholders on Thursday ahead of the afternoon press briefing.
“The president is announcing his intent to sign those actions next week,” Sanders clarified during the briefing. She was adamant that they were not going to get into further details on the actions until “those details are finalized.
Asked if the president is concerned about the results of imposing such tariffs, Sanders said that he is concerned with the “men and women of this country who have been forgotten about, the industries that our country was founded and built on.” She added that this shouldn’t be a surprise as President Trump has been vocal on the issue for “decades,” including on the 2016 presidential campaign trail.
Later, another reporter asked if the president was concerned about the impact the tariffs would have on America’s allies including Canada, the U.K., and EU. Sanders reinforced that the president is concerned with protecting American workers and that the announcement next week centers on those individuals. She said that she was unaware of any concern from the president about retaliation over the tariffs.
“He’s made his intentions very clear to the team at the White House,” Sanders went on to say of the president on tariff discussions. She didn’t believe it came as a surprise to those in the White House.
Sanders said that the 25 and ten percent tariff rates that the president spoke of in the meeting are the “intent,” but she wouldn’t confirm them as the details are yet to be finalized. She also refused to speak of any potential exemptions for some countries.
At the end of the president’s meeting, he responded to questions about the tariffs, stating, “Twenty-five percent for steel. It will be ten percent for aluminum. And it will be for a long period of time.”
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