If the U.S. decides to re-impose tariffs on this country’s aluminum shipments, Canada shouldn’t take it personally, according to a veteran trade lawyer.

“This is business, it’s not personal,” Mark Warner, principal at MAAW Law, told BNN Bloomberg’s Jon Erlichman Tuesday. “I think if there were a way in which you could take out Canada from the equation meaningfully, my guess is they probably would want to do that.”

“It also shows again that we don’t have that preferred relationship we had in the past with the United States – and particularly with this Trump administration – which is very material.”

According to Bloomberg News, the Trump administration could announce another round of 10-per-cent tariffs on shipments of aluminum from Canada as early as Friday.

That would come days before the new North American free trade deal takes effect July 1 and amid calls from the American Primary Aluminum Association for protection from an alleged surge in shipments from Canada, which it says has caused the price of the metal to collapse.

“The free flow of goods and services, including aluminum, is important for jobs and economic growth in both of our countries,” Katherine Cuplinskas, a spokesperson for Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, said in an emailed statement Tuesday in response to Bloomberg’s report.

“We firmly believe that our aluminum exports do not harm the U.S. market. We are emphasizing this in our ongoing conversations with our American partners.”

Warner suggested the timing of the renewed tariffs would be somewhat unusual.

“It’s a bit of a surprise that in the lead-up to an election the [U.S. government] would pull this trigger,” Warner said. “But I think the underlying dynamics of the market are such that they have to pull the trigger.”

However, Warner isn’t 100 per cent certain the tariffs – which he said Trump could be wanting to use as leverage to open the Canada-U.S. border – will actually go through.  

“Until we actually see it happen, I’m going to hope that it won’t happen because sometimes Trump’s bark is bigger than his bite.”