US President lifts steel, aluminium tariffs on Mexico, Canada

Vastavam web: US President Donald Trump on Friday announced a deal to lift US tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Canada and Mexico that had created friction between the neighbours and blocked a new North American free trade agreement. “I’m pleased to announce that we’ve just reached an agreement with Canada and Mexico and will be selling our product into those countries, without the imposition of tariffs,” Trump said at an event in the US capital. His statement came moments after Canada released the text of the agreement between Ottawa and Washington in which they agree to eliminate US tariffs on steel and aluminium, and Canada’s retaliatory measures, within no more than two days.

The steep US tariffs imposed last year — 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium — became a major stumbling block to ratifying a new North American trade pact negotiated last year by the three countries.

Once America’s neighbours were included, the levies drew retaliation with tariffs on a host of US products. Even after the governments agreed to a revised free trade deal — the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA — the tariffs remained in place, but officials in Ottawa and Mexico City said they would not sign unless Washington removed the metals duties.