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U.S. Offers to Waive Steel Tariff from Canada
USAgNet - 03/07/2018

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the Trump administration has offered to exclude Canada and Mexico from tariffs on steel and aluminum as an incentive to reach a deal on a new NAFTA before a string of elections makes it difficult.

President Donald Trump's "view was that it makes sense that if we get a successful agreement, to have them be excluded," Lighthizer told reporters in Mexico City on Monday following the seventh round of talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. "It's an incentive to get a deal."

Bloomberg reports that Lighthizer said the U.S. may take a pause in negotiations for the Mexican election in July, if no deal is reached in the near term. "Our time is running very short," Lighthizer said during a ministerial briefing.

The tariff threats have cast a pall over talks that are already in overtime. While Canada and Mexico cited agreements on individual chapters as signs of progress, there's no sign of any breakthrough on the most controversial subjects that will be key to reaching a deal to update a pact that Trump has repeatedly threatened to quit.

Campaigning will take off next month for Mexican presidential elections scheduled for July 1, and U.S. congressional midterms are set for later this year.

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