The Trump administration has reached a deal to lift tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, in a move that could put the two nations a step closer to ratifying the USMCA — the trade deal that would update the NAFTA agreement.
The tariffs will fall within two days, according to a joint U.S.-Canada statement posted by Canada’s foreign ministry.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will announce the breakthrough Friday afternoon, his office said. Cameron spoke to President Trump about a deal to end the tariffs around midday, according to Cameron Ahmad, Trudeau’s director of communications.
The U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada and Mexico have now been in effect for nearly a year, subjecting steel imports to a 25% tariff and aluminum to a 10% hike. Retaliatory tariffs from both countries have been in place for nearly as long.
Friday’s joint statement does not mention the status of the tariffs between the U.S. and Mexico.
News of the deal comes two days after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said a deal on the tariffs was looming, during his testimony to a Senate Appropriations subcommittee.
Trump’s original tariff order metals targeted the EU, exempting the U.S. neighbors. But after extended talks on a revised NAFTA deal took longer than the U.S. administration had hoped, the two countries were included in the tariffs. The leaders of the three countries signed the new U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement in late November. It won’t take effect until all three legislatures have voted to ratify the trade pact.
In late April, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, warned Trump that the USMCA deal would be “dead” unless the steel and aluminum tariffs were lifted.
Earlier this week, Mexico’s Economy Secretary Graciela Marquez said she believed a solution to the tariff standoff could be imminent, as she held meetings in Toronto with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.