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Trump lifts steel, aluminum tariffs on Canada, Mexico

AFP  |  Washington 

on Friday announced a deal to lift US tariffs on and aluminum imports from and that had created friction between the neighbours and blocked a new agreement.

"I'm pleased to announce that we've just reached an agreement with and and will be selling our product into those countries, without the imposition of tariffs," Trump said at an event in the US capital.

His statement came moments after released the text of the agreement between and in which they agree to eliminate US tariffs on and aluminum, and Canada's retaliatory measures, within no more than two days.

subsequently confirmed it had reached a similar agreement with the

The steep US tariffs imposed last year -- 25 per cent on and 10 per cent on aluminum -- became a major stumbling block to ratifying a new North American trade pact negotiated last year by the three countries.

Canada and Mexico initially were exempted from the tariffs Trump enforced using a national security argument, as part of his hardline trade tactics.

Once America's neighbours were included, the levies drew retaliation with tariffs on a host of US products.

Even after the governments agreed to a revised deal -- the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA -- the tariffs remained in place, but officials in and said they would not sign unless removed the metals duties.

Speaking to reporters in Ottawa, Canada's said there had was a shared recognition that "these tariffs were harming workers and consumers on both sides of the border" and "didn't make a lot of sense" in the context of a new deal.

"Obviously these continued tariffs on steel and aluminum and our countermeasures represented significant barriers to moving forward with the new NAFTA agreement," he said, referring to the 24-year-old

"Now that we've had a full lift on these tariffs we are going to work with the on timing for ratification but we're very optimistic we are going to be able to move forward well in the coming weeks," Trudeau said.

Mexican likewise tweeted that the lifting of tariffs "clears the way towards ratification of USMCA." Some key members of the US had said they would not agree to vote for the three-country free trade pact unless the Trump's metals tariffs ended.

"Hopefully will approve it quickly," said Trump.

According to the agreement with Canada, the two governments will withdraw all complaints lodged in the

The two countries also agreed to monitor imports of steel and aluminum to ensure metals that are sold at "dumped prices" -- below the cost of production -- are not purchased in or shipped through Canada.

In addition, they agreed to a provision to reimpose steep duties if imports of the metals "surge meaningfully beyond historic volumes of trade over a period of time." US tariffs on steel and aluminum from remain in place, as does the EU retaliation.

Some countries, including South Korea, accepted export quotas to avoid the tariffs.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, May 18 2019. 01:45 IST