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United States Lifts Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

By: Dr. Alejandro Díaz-Bautista, Economist (PhD)

The United States removes steel and aluminum tariffs, so the road to the T-MEC or USMCA continues in 2019.

The United States, Mexico and Canada agree to eliminate tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau celebrated the agreement and said that taxes on these metals “were hurting consumers and workers on both sides of the border,” during a visit to the Stelco steel plant.

“The United States removes the steel and aluminum tariffs, so the road continues to the T-MEC or USMCA. We are optimistic that the agreement to eliminate tariffs will help achieve an early ratification of the Treaty between Mexico, the United States and Canada known as (T-MEC) or (USMCA) by their respective congresses,” said Dr. Alejandro Díaz Baptist, economist, national researcher of Conacyt as well as research professor of the Northern Borders College (El Colef).

The nations also agreed to end all pending litigation between them in the World Trade Organization (WTO) over section 232, in addition to implementing measures to prevent the importation of aluminum and steel that is unfairly subsidized or sold at dumped prices.

Canada and Mexico will reciprocate by eliminating the retaliatory tariffs they imposed on US imports, including punitive taxes on US agricultural products.

The United States will raise tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum for the Victory Day, eliminating a key obstacle to the ratification of the new North American free trade pact and ending a one-year dispute between Ottawa and Washington. For President Trump, the lifting of tariffs paves the way for the ratification of the new NAFTA, officially known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (T-Mec or USMCA).

Time is running out for the US Congress to approve the trilateral pact, as economic and trade analysts indicate that the legislation must be presented to lawmakers in July or it is at risk of being pushed to be one of the central issues of the presidential election of 2020 in the United States.

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