Some clarity came as spoilers leaked out — including some major ones from the president himself during a late-morning Cabinet meeting.
“We have a very big meeting at 3:30,” Trump said. “I’d call it an economic meeting, something we have to do to protect our steel, our aluminum in our country.”
Trump wouldn’t say exactly what he had planned, but promised that it would be “very fair” and also “very flexible.” As reporters shouted out questions, the president confirmed that he would implement the tariff numbers. Canada and Mexico probably would not have to pay the tariff, he said, and countries that are friendly with the United States — for example, Australia — could also receive an exemption.
“I’ll have a right to go up or down, depending on the country, and I’ll have a right to drop out countries or add countries,” Trump said. “We just want fairness. Because we have not been treated fairly by other countries.”