US agrees to lift tariffs on steel and aluminum with Canada and Mexico

Washington – Donald Trump announced Friday the removal of tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada and Mexico, removing an important obstacle to ratification of the free trade agreement between the three countries.

"We have just reached an agreement with Canada and Mexico and we will sell our products in those countries without imposing tariffs or major tariffs", announced the US president.

Shortly before, a joint statement from the United States and Canada announced an agreement to lift tariffs imposed by Washington for almost a year.

In its desire to promoteAmerica firstDonald Trump imposed on his trading partners, in the summer of 2017, the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in force since 1994, accusing him of destroying thousands of jobs especially in the automotive sector due to relocations to Mexico.

To force the hand of its partners, the White House imposed on June 1, 2018 additional tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Washington, Ottawa, and Mexico City finally signed a new Free Trade Agreement (SEUMC) on September 30 after a marathon of thirteen months of tough trade negotiations.

Then the three countries formally signed it on November 30th.

Since then, the text is still pending ratification in all three countries, with Ottawa lifting US tariffs as a prerequisite for giving them the go-ahead.

Agreement between Washington and Ottawa to lift tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum represents "big step"towards ratification"in the next weeksThe new deal welcomed Justin Trudeau on Friday during a press conference in Hamilton, Ontario.

In particular, the new agreement provides for a significant change in the so-called original rules for the automotive sector, requiring more purchases of US-made materials and components. It also includes a clause forcing Mexico to increase the sector's employees.

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