Mnuchin: Deal close to scrap Mexico, Canada steel tariffs

Mnuchin: Deal close to scrap Mexico, Canada steel tariffs
© Greg Nash
The Trump administration is nearing a deal that would lift steel and aluminum tariffs on Mexico and Canada, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinBudget talks between White House, Pelosi spill into weekend Conservative group raises concerns about potential budget deal How China's currency manipulation cheats America on trade MORE told a congressional panel at a hearing on Wednesday.
 
“I think we are close to an understanding with Mexico and Canada,” Mnuchin said in testimony to the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on financial services. 
 
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The administration is facing pressure to lift tariffs on the two countries from Republicans in Congress. 
 
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyScandal in Puerto Rico threatens chance at statehood Poll: McConnell is most unpopular senator Democrat: Treasury 'acknowledged the unprecedented process' in Trump tax return rejection MORE (R-Iowa) threatened last month to block passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, a trade pact intended to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico and Canada, unless the administration lifts the steel and aluminum tariffs.
 
Grassley's panel has jurisdiction on trade issues. 
 
Trump imposed the steel and aluminum tariffs against a slew of trading partners last year, including Canada, Mexico and the European Union. Those countries have hit the U.S. with retaliatory tariffs.
 
Even after Trump struck a deal with Canada and Mexico to update NAFTA, the tariffs on steel and aluminum from those countries were kept in place.
 
Mnuchin said that lifting the tariffs with Canada and Mexico was a “priority” and that he and U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerChinese, US negotiators fine-tuning details of trade agreement: report The Trump economy keeps roaring ahead Trump says no discussion of extending deadline in Chinese trade talks MORE had been in talks with those countries’ finance ministers. 
 
Lifting tariffs on South Korea, however, had not been a central topic of discussion, he said.