Briefing

Mexico and the U.S. are close to a deal on metal tariffs

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The U.S. will lift the levies on steel and aluminium, but will not impose quotas on Mexico, said Jesús Seade, Mexico’s chief negotiator for North American free trade. Seade said the two sides have paused talks to wait for Canada to reach a similar agreement. Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is currently in Washington, D.C., and discussed the tariffs with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer this morning. (Globe and Mail)

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Talking point: Canada is resisting the quotas. 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 U.S. aren’t simply China or another country’s shipments trying to evade U.S. tariffs. Canada had less success with that approach—in April 2018, Ottawa announced $30 million to align Canada’s steel metal-marking system with the U.S. The following month, Trump imposed the duties, anyway. But there are positive signs for Canada. Freeland said her meeting with Lighthizer was “good,” and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a Senate committee on Wednesday morning that deals with both Mexico and Canada were close.