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White House says Trump may exempt Canada, Mexico from tariffs

  • Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders seemed to hint at the possibility that Mexico and Canada may get tariff exemptions Wednesday.
  • "We expect that the President will sign something by the end of the week. And there are potential carve-outs for Mexico and Canada based on national security and possibly other countries as well based on that process," she said at a news briefing Wednesday.

The White House seems to be softening its stance on steel and aluminum tariffs.

When asked if countries will be able to get exemptions from tariffs, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders opened the door to the possibility.

"We expect that the president will sign something by the end of the week. And there are potential carve-outs for Mexico and Canada based on national security and possibly other countries as well based on that process," she said at a news briefing Wednesday. "That will be a case-by-case and country-by-country basis. It would be determined whether or not there is a national security exemption."

President Donald Trump said last week that he plans to impose 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent tariffs on aluminum imports. The announcement set off a wave of uncertainty in the financial markets and fears they would be a blanket move instead of targeted.

Sanders' latest comments seem to contradict what White House trade advisor Peter Navarro told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.

"At this point in time there's no country exclusions," Navarro said.

Stocks rallied off their lows following these comments from Sanders.

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