Mexico says close to U.S. metals tariff deal, waiting for Canada

Evarado Alatorre
May 18, 2019

Jesus Seade, Mexican deputy foreign minister for North America, told Reuters by telephone that a deal to remove the so-called Section 232 tariffs was "very close" but he wanted Canada to be in the same position in its negotiations with Washington.

"I think we are close to an understanding with Mexico and Canada" on removing steel and aluminum tariffs, Mnuchin told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing.

Growth being made between Washington and Mexico City in opposition to repealing USA tariffs on metal skill it's no longer the factual time for Mexico to concentrate on unique US merchandise in retaliation for the tasks, a senior Mexican legit acknowledged on Wednesday.

The comments came as Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland was in Washington for meetings with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and congressional leaders.

US Treasury Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday that Washington is close to resolving its differences with Mexico and Canada over steel and aluminum tariffs that have created friction among the trading partners. He did not provide any details about the potential agreement.

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A USTR spokeswoman declined comment on the meeting.

Mnuchin acknowledged to the senators what business leaders in all three countries, as well as USA lawmakers on both sides of the political divide, have been saying: that the tariffs must be lifted for the newly negotiated North American free trade deal to be ratified by legislators. None of the three countries have ratified the new U.S. -Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA). It will not reconvene until December.

With US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Mnuchin has led the US delegation in 11 rounds of shuttle diplomacy aimed at resolving the US-China trade war. Canada had less success with that approach-in April 2018, Ottawa announced $30 million to align Canada's steel metal-marking system with the U.S. The following month, Trump imposed the duties, anyway.

Mexican Economy Minister Graciela Marquez on Tuesday said Mexico was "close to negotiating the lifting of tariffs".

In a sign of thawing tension, Mexico's Seade said it was not the right time to target new products. And then: "OK, I think we need to leave for Cuba soon".

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