Mnuchin sees progress on steel tariffs with Mexico, Canada

Mnuchin sees progress on steel tariffs with Mexico, Canada

Mnuchin sees progress on steel tariffs with Mexico, Canada

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said she discussed the tariffs on Canadian metals with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Wednesday, but declined to say whether the two countries were close to a deal. Instead, she just noted "Canada believes in the new [USMCA] agreement that we reached with the United States and Mexico", and "we very much hope it can be ratified in all of our countries, although the domestic processes are up to each country".

Both Canada and Mexico have imposed their own tariffs on American agricultural exports and other goods in retaliation for the levies. "It's not necessary because I think the top priority is to get a deal first". Join the conversation by commenting below!

Mnuchin says he has also spoken to Finance Minister Bill Morneau and their Mexican counterpart about the tariffs, but that Lighthizer is actively leading discussions on them.

The US, Canada and Mexico signed a revamped North American free trade pact last October, but ratification has been delayed over the tariffs row.

Mexico says it has prepared a revised list of products to spread the pain to different sectors of the USA economy if necessary, but has yet to apply them. And, "this is a very important part of passing USMCA which is a very important economic agreement for two of our largest trading partners..."

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U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer enters his vehicle as he leaves from the U.S. Capitol House carriage entrance after a meeting with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi at the Capitol in Washington, U.S., May 15, 2019.

Freeland, Trudeau and others in the Canadian government have derided the tariffs as absurd, illegal and insulting.

But US officials have reportedly sought to persuade Mexico City and Ottawa to accept export quotas in return for lifting the metal tariffs for their countries.

Asked about prospects for a deal later in the day, Freeland said she would not discuss Canada's negotiating strategy.

Graciela Marquez Colin, Mexico's economy secretary, and Jesus Seade, undersecretary for North America, echoed her comments on their visit to Canada. "Canada is a real supporter of union rights and we're happy to be discussing that important issue with our Mexican colleagues".

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