And will it matter if they're not?
President Donald Trump is suggesting that Australia and "other countries" may be exempted from steel and aluminum tariffs, along with Mexico and Canada. For one thing, no one knows yet how they will be applied.
President Trump made no direct connection today between Canada's tariff exemption and the ongoing North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations, but he did mention the NAFTA talks, more or less in the same breath.
"There's just a lot of uncertainty", says Paul Ashworth, chief USA economist at Capital Economics, a research firm.
She also warned that if the issue can't be resolved bilaterally or through the World Trade Organization, then "we will have to protect our industry with rebalancing measures". "This includes steel and aluminum manufacturing jobs which have been battered by China's unfair trade practices for years".
If the WTO threw out the US tariffs, the president - already critical of WTO rulings against America - might be tempted to pull out of the organization. Although it is not clear whether President Trump will implement that recommendation and, if so, what the process for seeking such an exclusion would look like, the reports indicate that the Secretary of Commerce could grant exclusions based on: (i) lack of sufficient USA production capacity of comparable products; and (ii) specific national security based considerations.
Trump's Thursday announcement sent the S&P Global Platts daily price assessment for US-made hot-rolled steel coil up to $844.50 per short ton, up more than 4.0 percent from Wednesday.
The Trump administration could combine the tariffs with restrictions on Chinese investments in the US, which are reviewed for national-security risks by Treasury's Committee on Foreign Investment in the USA, the people said.
"We hope that we can get confirmation that the EU is excluded from this", European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem told policy makers, experts and reporters at an event in Brussels. He says American manufacturers need to be protected on national security grounds.
Likewise, Trump's invitation to countries to plead their case for being exempted from the tariffs might prove a tough sell.
The fight over tariffs comes amid intense turmoil in the West Wing, which has seen waves of departures and negative news stories that have left Trump increasingly isolated in the Oval Office, according to two senior officials speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal thinking.
But business experts, including Paul Isely, associate dean for the Grand Valley State University Seidman College of Business, said the tariffs will also drive up the cost of the products - not just overseas, but also in the United States.
Gagnon said the proposed tariff is of great concern, especially for Kitimat's BC Works, which exports 50 per cent of its production to the U.S.
WTO court cases typically take about 18 months to be resolved.
White House officials even say the specifics of the plan remain fluid and it's unclear when they will be finalized. "These measures could make a significant impact on the economic and cooperative relationship between Japan and the US, who are allies", said Japan's foreign minister, Taro Kono.