Sean Hackbarth Sean Hackbarth
Senior Editor, Digital Content, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


May 17, 2019


After a year of being caught in the middle of a tariff war, American businesses, farmers, and ranchers have some good news.

The Trump administration agreed to lift steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico, CNBC reports:

In a joint statement Friday, the Canadian and American governments said the U.S. will scrap the metals duties within two days. Canada will remove tariffs levied on American goods in retaliation for the steel and aluminum duties.

Last year, the U.S. imposed 25% tariffs on steel and 10% tariffs on aluminum. Canada and Mexico responded by imposing tariffs of their own on an assortment of U.S. goods, as I wrote last November:

The retaliatory tariffs imposed by Canada and Mexico on approximately $15 billion of U.S. agricultural and manufactured goods exports are inflicting serious harm on U.S. workers, farmers, and ranchers. Producers of pork, cheese, apples, candies, paper products, processed foods, and furniture are among those hit hard by this retaliation.

Every state was affected.

Metal prices soared as a result, adding needlessly to costs on businesses.

Now that some of these steel and aluminum tariffs have been lifted, consumers of metal, like auto makers and craft brewers, should see some relief.

Now, we can look forward and urge Congress to pass the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), as U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue noted in a statement:

The Chamber applauds the administration’s decision to lift the tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada and Mexico. This move, coupled with the lifting of retaliatory duties, will bring immediate relief to American farmers and manufacturers. Critically, this action delivers a welcome burst of momentum for the USMCA in Congress, and we urge the administration and Congress to continue their efforts to chart a path toward its approval as soon as possible.

The USMCA will strengthen economic ties among our closest trading partners, helping businesses, farmers, ranchers, and the 12 million workers who rely on North American trade be competitive in the world economy.

Learn more at the USMCA Coalition website.

About the authors

Sean Hackbarth

Sean Hackbarth

Sean writes about public policies affecting businesses including energy, health care, and regulations. When not battling those making it harder for free enterprise to succeed, he raves about all things Wisconsin (his home state) and religiously follows the Green Bay Packers.

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