U.S. Lifts Metals Tariffs for Canada, Mexico

May 20, 2019 at 12:12 AM

The U.S. has agreed to exempt Canada and Mexico from its 25% tariffs on steel and 10% tariffs on aluminum. The move is considered essential to ratifying the updated North American Free Trade Agreement signed by the three countries last November.

The US. tariffs are not being swapped for import quotas, something the Trump administration had been pushing for earlier. In return, Canada and Mexico have agreed to drop retaliatory tariffs they announced a year ago after the Trump administration imposed the metals taxes.

The U.S. reserves the right to reactivate the tariffs if Canada and Mexico fail to adequately control the flow of cheap metals through those countries from overseas sources. The deal also is intended to encourage more production within the region of both metals.

The settlement drew wide support from both U.S. political parties and the auto industry. President Donald Trump is eager for Congress to ratify the three-way trade pact, which he has renamed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Revamping the 25-year-old NAFTA trade accord was one of Trump’s major campaign promises.