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U.S., Canada reach deal to remove tariffs on aluminum, steel

May 17, 2019  

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The United States and Canada have reached an agreement to lift the steel and aluminum tariffs, CTV News has confirmed.

This comes after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump spoke today about the tariffs, and Trudeau is scheduled to hold a media availability at Stelco in Hamilton, Ont.

The tariffs were imposed by the U.S. last May in the midst of NAFTA talks, citing national security concerns as their justification. Canada responded with its own dollar-for-dollar countermeasures on American steel, aluminum, and other goods.

The U.S. tariffs were a 25 per cent steel tariff and 10 per cent tariff on aluminum, while Canada’s countermeasures amount up to $16.6 billion in imports of steel, aluminum, and other products from the Unites States, subjected to either a 25 or 10 per cent surtax.

When a renegotiated deal, was signed after nearly 14 months of negotiations, the tariffs remained in place. This prompted criticism from the opposition for not resolving the damaging trade action before inking the deal.

Canadian officials have said these retaliatory measures would be lifted the minute the Americans dropped their tariffs.

The tariffs have remained a key sticking point in the process of ratification of the renegotiated NAFTA deal called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA in America, and the Canada-United States-Mexico-Agreement, or CUSMA, here. Canada has said that the deal will not be ratified so long as the tariffs are in place.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland was in Washington, D.C. earlier this week where she met with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and others to discuss the tariffs, among other issues.

(CTV News)

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