Trump cools trade war by lifting North American metal tariffs

Saul Bowman
May 21, 2019

"I'm pleased to announce that we've just reached an agreement with Canada and Mexico, and we'll be selling our products into those countries without the imposition of tariffs, or major tariffs", Trump announced.

The Ministry of foreign Affairs of Canada said that tariffs will be removed within two days.

"I have serious questions about the legitimacy of using national security as a basis to impose tariffs on cars and auto parts", Iowa Republican Sen.

The US imposed tariffs on steel and aluminium last March, arguing cheap imports were an "assault on our country" that was leading to the "decimation of entire communities".

Trudeau offered a shout-out to Canadian unions for their support, and said it helped the government hold firm to USA demands that it submit to quotas before lifting the tariffs. "Consumer to pay the Tariffs" is false.

"It's a good day for steel and aluminum workers right across the country", he said. The list includes helicopters and aircraft from Airbus as well as European exports like: famous cheeses like Stilton, Roquefort and Gouda, wines and oysters, ceramics, knives and pajamas.

As the United States agreed Friday to lift steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, some of Canada's Official Opposition Conservatives welcomed it as "good news", but warned of "risk". It is to be based on individual product categories, but not on the entire steel or aluminum industry.

SHAPIRO: These tariffs are part of President Trump's promise to revive American steel. But the administration had refused to lift the taxes on their metals coming into the United States until Friday. Canada and Mexico immediately retaliated and imposed their own tariffs on U.S. imports.

The deal will see all tariffs, counter tariffs and litigation dropped within two days, and avoids any quotas the USA has been seeking.

The steel sector in Canada supports 22,000 direct jobs and another 10,000 direct jobs for aluminum, as well as 100,000 additional workers in spin-off industries.

The separate agreements, which will not impose US quotas on Canadian and Mexican metals shipments, will also eliminate Mexican and Canadian retaliatory tariffs on a broad range of USA products, including pork, beef and bourbon. In the end the deal that was struck allows free trade of the metals in the region.

P.E.I. Liberal MP Wayne Easter says the decision to eliminate some contentious trade tariffs between Canada and the a major victory for the country moving forward. China has always been accused of flooding world markets with subsidized metal products, driving down world prices and hurting United States producers.

Canada is embroiled in a political crisis with China and is trying to win the release of two Canadian men it says are "arbitrarily" imprisoned as national security threats, and is seeking clemency for a third facing an upgraded death sentence for drug smuggling. That capped a week in which Beijing unveiled fresh retaliatory tariffs and the US leveled a blow against one of China's biggest and most successful companies, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd. The passage will protect our relationships with two of our biggest ag trading partners, Canada and Mexico. The terms of that alliance were renegotiated somewhat under Trump, though the renewed deal is still pending approval in Congress.

Washington and Ottawa also "agree to terminate all pending litigation between them in the World Trade Organization regarding the Section 232 action", the joint statement added.

U.S. President Donald Trump imposed the tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium almost a year ago on Canada and Mexico. So is President Trump's decision to eliminate the tariffs now a recognition that his strategy for the a year ago hasn't worked? Because it made no sense to charge each other tariffs on steel and aluminum. The nations have also agreed to ramp up efforts to trace where the metals have come from originally, to stop the diversion of shipments from other nations to dodge tariffs. Ben Sasse, R-Neb. "Canada and Mexico are our friends".

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