Cabinet members say Canada, Mexico could escape new tariffs

President Donald Trump walks to the Oval Office after speaking at the Latino Coalition Legislative Summit, Wednesday, March 7, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Evan Vucci

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump's plan to impose tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum (all times local):

8 a.m.

President Donald Trump says he'll hold an afternoon meeting on the steel and aluminum industries.

Trump tweeted Thursday: "Looking forward to 3:30 P.M. meeting today at the White House. We have to protect & build our Steel and Aluminum Industries while at the same time showing great flexibility and cooperation toward those that are real friends and treat us fairly on both trade and the military."

The president did not say whether he will sign tariffs on steel and aluminum imports at the meeting. The White House has not yet clarified the tweet.

The White House said Wednesday that Mexico, Canada and other countries may be spared from tariffs under national security "carve-outs."


12:22 a.m.

The White House says Mexico, Canada and other countries may be spared from President Donald Trump's planned steel and aluminum tariffs under national security "carve-outs," a move that could soften the blow amid threats of retaliation by trading partners and dire economic warnings from lawmakers and business groups.

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters the exemptions would be made on a "case by case" and "country by country" basis, a reversal from the policy articulated by the White House just days ago that there would be no exemptions from Trump's plan.

The update came as congressional Republicans and business groups braced for the impact of expected tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum, appearing resigned to additional protectionist trade actions as Trump signaled upcoming economic battles with China.

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