Briefing

U.S. to lift metal tariffs on Canada and Mexico

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Canada and Mexico agreed to increase monitoring and enforcement action against countries or companies exporting foreign steel and aluminium to them to be re-exported to the U.S. The U.S. will not impose quotas on Canada or Mexico, despite originally demanding them. (Washington Post)

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Talking point: The lifting of the metal levies—and Canada and Mexico ending their retaliatory duties, which will follow—clears one major obstacle to the ratification of the USMCA. Senators in states hit hard by the countermeasures—like Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley—had said they wouldn’t let the trade deal proceed until the tariffs were gone. It’s been seven months since the three sides reached an agreement on the USMCA, and five since they signed it. Time is fast running out to adopt the deal, with elections scheduled in Canada in October and the U.S. in November 2020. The three sides have been discussing non-tariff hurdles simultaneously to try and speed up the process. For example, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland talked labour standards—a key concern for U.S. Democrats—with Graciela Márquez Colín, Mexico’s economy secretary, on Monday. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump spoke three times this week.

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