US reaches agreement with Canada and Mexico on metals tariffs

The US has reached an agreement with Canada and Mexico to remove tariffs on steel and aluminium it imposed last year on national security grounds, people familiar with the matter said.

The deal was expected to be announced on Friday afternoon. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The breakthrough on metals trade in North America could help smooth ratification of the revision to Nafta agreed by all three countries last year. Many US lawmakers and officials in Canada and Mexico had insisted on a removal of the tariffs as a condition for legislative approval of that agreement — called the USMCA by Mr Trump.

The imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminium on Canada and Mexico had angered Ottawa and Mexico City last year — who saw it as insulting in addition to the economic costs. Many US businesses depending on metal products from Canada and Mexico had increasingly complained to the Trump administration that they were taking a big hit as a result of the levies.

But despite overwhelming pressure, Mr Trump had resisted removing the tariffs until this week.


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