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Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs mum on ending of steel & aluminum tariffs

Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs mum on ending of steel & aluminum tariffs

May 16, 2019

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland gave no hint today that the United States is set to lift steel and aluminum tariffs, even though Mexico's top trade representative is saying a deal for their country is imminent and the U.S Treasury secretary says all three countries are "close" to finding a solution to the standoff.

Speaking to reporters in Washington after meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Bob Lighthizer, Freeland said that ratification of the new NAFTA and the tariffs were discussed in the meeting. She refused to give any details.

U.S. officials have suggested that Canada and Mexico accept quotas on their steel and aluminum exports to resolve the impasse. By setting the tariff-free threshold high enough, an agreed-upon level of NAFTA trade would no longer face extra costs, while U.S. producers would continue to be protected from any unexpected surges in North American supply.

But both Canada and Mexico have been unwilling to accept limits on their tariff-free trade in aluminum and steel, frustrating attempts at quickly resolving the issue so all countries can move on to ratifying the revamped NAFTA.

"When it comes to Canada, ...as long as the tariffs remain in place, [USMCA] ratification would be very, very problematic."

Freeland said that, ...Canada would continue to work toward the complete lifting of the tariffs because it would be "great for the people, the workers, the consumers, the companies in both" the U.S. and Canada.

This article is excerpted from the May 15th 2019 edition of CBC News.

Source: Canadian Society of Customs Brokers (CSCB), CBC News

 


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