Mnuchin sees progress on steel tariffs with Mexico, Canada

Nellie Chapman
May 18, 2019

Both Canada and Mexico have imposed retaliatory duties on USA goods, in response, although the effects of the tariffs have been far less pronounced on the United States due to the size of their economy. The three countries' negotiators ultimately reached a new deal that the Americans call the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

Mexico has gotten out of them by agreeing to stricter monitoring and the tracking of its own steel and aluminum imports, to ensure its exports to the US aren't simply China or another country's shipments trying to evade USA tariffs.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer was scheduled to meet with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland in Washington later on Wednesday to discuss the metals tariffs and other issues related to the U.S. -Mexico Canada Agreement.

US Treasury Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday that Washington is close to resolving its differences with Mexico and Canada over steel and aluminum tariffs that have created friction among the trading partners.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, has said he would block ratification of Trump's revision of the North American Free Trade Agreement, called the U.S. -Mexico-Canada Agreement, until the metals tariffs are lifted on the U.S. neighbors. He not provide any details about the potential agreement.

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"I'm regularly putting forward the point of view that these tariffs are not only not helpful to the Canadian economy - to either the producers or buyers of steel - but they're also damaging to the USA economy", said Morneau. "I can assure you it is a priority for us".

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer enters his vehicle as he leaves from the U.S. Capitol House carriage entrance after a meeting with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi at the Capitol in Washington, U.S., May 15, 2019.

But hostilities resumed last week when the United States accused China of backsliding on major commitments already made in the talks and President Donald Trump more than doubled duty rates on $200 billion in Chinese merchandise imports.

China responded in kind on Monday, raising duty rates on $60 billion in U.S. exports.

"I think we had a constructive meeting with the vice premier", Mnuchin told lawmakers Wednesday, referring to last week's brief meetings with Chinese trade envoy Liu He. "We're continuing discussions. There's still a lot of work to do".

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