USA agrees to remove steel, aluminium tariffs on Canada and Mexico

Daniel Fowler
May 20, 2019

President Donald Trump on Friday announced a deal to lift United States tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada and Mexico that had created friction between the neighbors and blocked a new North American free trade agreement.

The Canadian and Mexican governments, along with top U.S. lawmakers, have pushed the Trump administration to remove the tariffs before the countries approve the United States- Mexico-Canada Agreement.

"This is just pure good news for Canadians, for families, as they head into that long weekend" in several provinces, including Ontario, Trudeau said Friday during an unscheduled, last-minute visit to a Stelco plant in Hamilton, Canada's steel-manufacturing capital. "Families will know that their jobs are a little bit more secure".

Canada and the United States have reached a deal to end the year-long dispuite over steel and aluminum tariffs. Mexico and Canada together account for about 30% of us steel imports and almost 40% of its aluminum imports. At the time, Mexico and Canada imposed retaliatory tariffs on USA metals, pork legs, apples, grapes, cheese and bourbon whisky, among other products.

Trudeau was in Steeltown to make the announcement, fresh off the plane from Paris. "Those issues still need to be remedied", said US House Ways and Means Committee chairman Richard Neal last Friday. China has always been accused of flooding world markets with subsidized metal, driving down world prices and hurting USA producers. So it is called steel, who is originally from another country - say, China - and the second to the third countries is sold. Canada has been caught in the crossfire between the U.S. and China ever since Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was detained in Vancouver late a year ago at the behest of the U.S. Justice Department.

His statement came moments after Canada released the text of the agreement between Ottawa and Washington in which they agreed to eliminate USA tariffs on steel and aluminum, and Canada's retaliatory measures, within no more than two days.

The Trump Administration argued the tariffs were needed because Canadian steel and aluminium presented a security threat to the USA, an allegation Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland called "absurd".

The statement came after Trudeau spoke with U.S. President Donald Trump on phone Friday.

Countless millions of dollars at greater US prices on account of the tariffs, commended the deal said that it attracted USMCA passing a large step nearer.

The president of Windsor's Laval International, Jonathon Azzopardi, says getting rid of the tariffs is good news for manufacturers like his company.

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Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland looks on as United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer delivers his statement to the media during the sixth round of negotiations for a new North American Free Trade Agreement in Montreal, Monday, January 29, 2018. Alcoa Corp., the largest USA aluminum producer, declined 1.9 per cent, after sliding as much as 2.5 per cent.

The other measure would require Canada and Mexico to better track and monitor steel shipments to make sure China wasn't passing the product through them to get around USA tariffs.

A joint statement from the two countries said the new deal around tariffs comes about after "extensive discussions" on trade in steel and aluminum covered by the action taken pursuant to Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.

-Mexico-Canada deal swiftly.

Ottawa has also been working to demonstrate to Washington that it has taken steps to stem the flow of cheaper Chinese metals into the Canada.

On Monday, Beijing implemented retaliatory tariffs on United States imports after Mr Trump lifted levies on a further $200bn of Chinese goods, following a breakdown in trade talks between the two nations.

In a joint statement, the US and Canada said they would work to prevent cheap imports of steel and aluminum from entering North America.

The discussions between the three countries have now moved to creating "enhanced monitoring/anti-circumvention measures" relating to non-North American steel imports.

In Washington, some were urging Trump to take advantage of the truce with US allies to get even tougher with China.

And Canada had suggested it wouldn't ratify any deal with tariffs still in place.

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