USA reaches deal to lift steel, aluminum duties on Canada, Mexico

Donald Trump

Seade helped lead negotiations a year ago for the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) after U.S. President Donald Trump insisted on reworking the quarter-century-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). So President Trump said today, now these tariffs are gone, Congress should get down to the business of voting on his treaty.

"Shortly after President Donald Trump lifted the metal tariffs against neighbors to the north and south, Mexico announced it will eliminate all its tariffs imposed "in retaliation for the measures taken" by the United States".

The countries could also reimpose the tariffs if they faced a "surge" in steel or aluminum imports.

Canada's year-long standoff with the Trump administration over punitive USA steel and aluminum tariffs is finally over, removing a key hurdle in efforts to ratify the new North American trade pact.

If the importing party takes such action, the exporting country agrees to retaliate only in the affected sector (i.e., aluminum and aluminum-containing products or steel).

After the deal, Grassley tweeted: "Thank u Mr President for really helping the farmers of Iowa w this important step in USMCA. w lifting metal tariffs @realdonaldtrump just proved he can deliver on negotiations". China has said it would retaliate with its own escalated tariffs on USA exports. China, although not a significant exporter of steel to the US, had depressed global steel prices by dumping its excess metals production on the global market.

The approach harks back to the voluntary export restraints the US negotiated with Japan during an earlier period of trade tension in the 1980s.

The White House move comes after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reached out to Trump by phone three times in less than a week. There's also a commitment to work together to prevent cheaper foreign steel from freely flowing thorugh North America. Jean Simard, president and CEO of the Canadian Aluminum Association, says the deal will put "an end to the harmful uncertainty that is impeding the development of the Canadian and North American aluminum industry".

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President Donald Trump is delaying any decision to impose tariffs on vehicle and auto part imports, deciding against ratcheting up trade disputes or impacting talks with European nations and Japan.

"We have a great relationship with Canada, the prime minister", Trump said in remarks on Friday.

Mexico confirmed it had reached a similar agreement with the United States.

Global Affairs Canada says the tariffs will be removed within two days.

Both Canada and Mexico argued for 14 months that their metals industries posed no security threat as their economies are integrated with the United States, and challenged the tariffs before the World Trade Organization.

"We had a meeting this week with folks from the USA embassy who are involved in these issues", he said. After he announced the tariffs, more than 100 Republican members of Congress signed a letter criticizing the move.

By acting in the best interests of national security, the President's imposition of Section 232 tariffs has brought American steel and aluminum plants roaring back to life, providing thousands of new jobs and billions of dollars of investment across our nation, he said. But after extended talks on a revised NAFTA deal took longer than the US administration had hoped, the two countries were included in the tariffs.

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