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U.S. Steel and Aluminum Tariffs Remain USMCA Irritant
Colin Robertson - Canadian Global Affairs Institute

Farmscape for April 25, 2019

The Vice President of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute observes U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum remain a sticking point in efforts to move ahead with the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
The U.S. International Trade Commission, in its evaluation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement released last week, has concluded the agreement will have an overall favorable impact on the U.S. economy.
Colin Robertson, the Vice President and a Fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, explains the USITC evaluation is another check in the list of things required before the deal can be ratified by congress and then presumably signed off by the President but Canada and Mexico must also ratify the deal which has been complicated by both countries arguing they want U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum lifted before they proceed.

Clip-Colin Robertson-Canadian Global Affairs Institute:
You may recall that both Canada and Mexico originally said they wouldn't sign the agreement until these tariffs are lifted.
We've been arguing first of all that they are not a national security threat and that these tariffs have been imposed unfairly when we are taking the United States to the World Trade Organization on the imposition of these tariffs.
But, when push came to shove, we did sit down in Buenos Aires and sign the agreement with the Mexicans and the U.S. President at the end of November.
So, while we have said our primary objective is to have this lifted and that we won't ratify the agreement until the steel tariffs are lifted, that is a political decision that has been made by the government.
The Mexicans have said something similar.
It is a new government in Mexico.
The agreement was signed by the outgoing government on their very last day in office, November 30th and the current Mexican government have said that they won't ratify the agreement until the steel tariffs are lifted.

Robertson notes the U.S. Trade Representative has acknowledged that he would like to get to the steel and aluminum tariff issue but ongoing trade negotiations with China come first.
He expects the next milestone to be the introduction of the implementing legislation in the House of Representatives by the administration.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


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