I guess we will all just have to wait and see.
Meanwhile, the US president's imposition of a 25 per cent tariff on steel imports and 10 per cent tariff on aluminum imports, enacted under section 232 of the little used Trade Expansion Act of 1962, exempt both metals coming from Canada and Mexico on national security grounds - for now.
Whether Canada and Mexico's brief reprieve from tariffs will jump-start NAFTA talks or be perceived as coercion to win concessions remains an open question. The Department of Commerce, in cooperation with other agencies, will handle that process.
That sets up the potential that should the USA not get the concessions it wants from those talks, Canadian metal producers could soon find themselves subject to the same punitive tariff as everyone else. "You take out whatever percentage foreigners are to the American metal industry, if you take that out of the equation, now you've shrunk the market and unless they increase capacity in America, there's going to be a squeeze on who can get metal and how soon they can get it".
The British government said tariffs "are not the right way to address the global problem of overcapacity" and said it would work with European Union partners "to consider the scope for exemptions outlined today".
Trump was expected to make the tariffs official Thursday at an afternoon ceremony in the Oval Office.
He warned suppliers may have to absorb the higher input prices by cutting their own costs and warned, generally, that "neither outcome is good for the industry".
The dispute has fuelled concerns that soybeans, the United States's most valuable export to China, might be caught up in the row after Beijing launched a probe into imports of USA sorghum, a grain used in animal feed and liquor. "But we have to do it", EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had said Friday. "We will be impacted by any general USA - sourced steel price increases, but we do not expect a material impact given the majority of our contracts are longer term".
"Tariffs can be an appropriate punitive tool when people are cheating the system, however, I'm not sure the administration has thought this through", he said.
Malmstroem hinted that retaliation was still an option if everything else failed: "We will have to protect our industry with rebalancing measures".
Trump says the excess of imported steel and aluminum is a "travesty" and hurts American workers and industry.
Opponents have fought back, saying that consumers would end up paying more for a wide range of goods from cars, to canned beer and canned soup.
They would rather see the tariffs imposed just on certain countries that are dumping exports. Judging from the strong negative reaction coming from all directions, it would seem foolish for the U.S.to follow through on the suggested tariffs, since it would likely result in a lose-lose scenario for both sides.
"Obviously, if the price of aluminum goes up, it has an impact", he said.
Republican Senator Jeff Flake has already introduced legislation to nullify the tariffs.
Other nations have threatened reprisals, and tensions are escalating.
"Especially given today's globalization, choosing a trade war is a mistaken prescription". "China would have to make a justified and necessary response".
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told CNBC in an interview on March 9 that President Donald Trump will take national security into account in deciding which countries to exempt from the tariffs, and he noted that Trump wants to see North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies spend more on defense.