Washington, DC – President Donald Trump confirmed today that his government has reached an agreement with Mexico and Canada that will eliminate tariffs on steel and aluminum, and hoped that this would pave the way for the ratification of the trade agreement. trilateral called T-MEC.
“We have just reached an agreement with Canada and Mexico, and we will sell our products to those countries without the imposition of tariffs, or large tariffs,” Trump said during a speech at a conference of the National Association of Realtors.
“I hope that the (US) Congress will soon approve the T-MEC, so that our farmers will be even more successful,” he added.
The president did not mention the tariffs on steel and aluminum, but his speech came shortly after his government and the Canadian announced an agreement by which the country agreed to eliminate 10% tariffs on aluminum and 25% on steel Canadian taxes imposed by the United States in May 2018.
In return, Canada pledged to withdraw the commercial retaliation with which it responded to those tariffs, valued at 16,000 million dollars, according to a joint statement.
The mention of Trump to Mexico in his speech confirms that Washington also plans to withdraw those levies on Mexican steel and aluminum in the next 48 hours, as several media outlets had said.
The announcement comes after several telephone contacts between Trump and Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and after the Canadian government indicated that the Parliament of his country was not willing to ratify the T-MEC while the tariffs were still standing.
Canada and Mexico were confident that the country would lift these tariffs before the signing of the T-MEC agreement, but Washington did not give up, and tensions in this regard had become an obstacle to ratification.
The T-MEC is a modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that the three countries negotiated for a year as a result of Trump’s criticisms of the current agreement, which they finally signed in December in Buenos Aires.
In the country, the road to ratification overcame an obstacle last week, when Mexico approved a labor reform that the Democratic opposition had put as a condition to give the green light to the trade pact in the House of Representatives, but not yet scheduled a vote about the agreement.
According to the joint statement from the country and Canada, both decided that “they will implement effective measures” to prevent the importation of steel and aluminum “that is subsidized unfairly or sold at low prices.”
They will also avoid the transit of aluminum and steel made by third parties and destined for one of the two countries, an apparent reference to the Government’s concern that these metals from China reach their territory through neighboring countries. (EFEUSA)