Trump Says U.S. Will Remove Steel and Aluminum Tariffs on Canada

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

In a joint statement on Friday, officials from the USA and Canada said they have agreed to eliminate the tariffs within 48 hours. As part of Friday's arrangement, the Canadians and Mexicans agreed to scrap retaliatory tariffs they had imposed on USA goods.

President Donald Trump has chose to stall his decision on levying tariffs for imported cars, giving other countries six more months to establish new trade agreements.

In exchange for getting the tariffs lifted, Canada and Mexico would agree to actions meant to stop steel and aluminium from China and other countries being sent to the USA through Canada and Mexico.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's director of communications tweeted the PM will visit with steel workers at the Stelco facility in Hamilton, Ont.

But Canada has stood firm with the US on one key, related point: it has steadfastly refused to agree to quotas or other limits on its exports to get the tariffs lifted.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer speaks to an aide after he leaves a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., May 15, 2019.

"We have been consistent on this from the first moment the USA started talking about 232 steel and aluminium tariffs that this had nothing to do with our NAFTA negotiations", said Freeland in November during a visit to Unifor Local 444 in Windsor to explain the new trade agreement. Republican senators, led by Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa, have emphasized the urgency of approving USMCA, and the importance of removing existing tariffs and avoiding new ones.

Meanwhile, Trump is locked in a high stakes rumble with China.

"Now that we've had a full lift on these tariffs we are going to work with the United States on timing for ratification but we're very optimistic we are going to be able to move forward well in the coming weeks", Trudeau said.

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Several U.S. Democrats applauded removal of the tariffs, but said USMCA was not yet ready for their support.

The White House has not yet issued a statement on the matter. In public hearings a year ago, the idea of imposing import taxes on cars drew nearly no support, even from the US auto industry.

The Canadian and Mexican governments, along with some US lawmakers, have pressured the Trump administration to lift the tariffs to smooth out a new trilateral trade agreement. "And then the great farmers and manufactures and steel plants will make our economy even more successful than it already is, if that's possible, which it is possible". By sowing the seeds of uncertainty, he may have persuaded business leaders that future investment should be located inside US tariff walls that, even if they have been lowered for now, can easily be raised again.

The Trump administration has reached a deal to lift tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, in a move that could put the two nations a step closer to ratifying the USMCA - the trade deal that would update the NAFTA agreement.

The United States has reached a deal to remove steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico, while those nations would scrap retaliatory tariffs they imposed on USA products.

The government should be commended for imposing dollar-for-dollar retaliatory tariffs last summer.

Canada and Mexico initially were exempted from the tariffs Trump enforced using a national security argument, as part of his hardline trade tactics.

The deal struck today should bring some relief to the hundreds of American businesses harmed by the tariffs.

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