Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the administration is close to “an understanding with Mexico and Canada” to remove tariffs that have been in place for almost a year and have heavily impacted U.S. agriculture. It’s not clear yet what the potential agreement between the three countries might include. However, any tariff resolution would go a long way toward clearing a path to Congressional approval of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement. That agreement is President Trump’s top trade achievement and his primary legislative priority this year.
Democrats are already more optimistic about eventually passing the agreement following a meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. Many lawmakers and Ag groups consider removing the tariffs even more important than the actual trade agreement. Trump’s tariffs caused Canada and Mexico to retaliate with duties on $17 billion in U.S. exports, including a lot of foods and farm goods.
Mexico’s Under Secretary for North America says instead of a quota system sought by the administration, one proposal would involve a tracking system designed to prevent other countries from bypassing tariffs by shipping steel and aluminum through Mexico.