Mnuchin: Deal close to scrap Mexico, Canada steel tariffs

Mnuchin: Deal close to scrap Mexico, Canada steel tariffs
© Greg Nash
 
“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 GrassleyGrassley: White House 'failed to address' if there was a 'good reason' for IG firings GOP faces internal conflicts on fifth coronavirus bill State Department scrutiny threatens Pompeo's political ambitions 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 LighthizerGOP senator warns quick vote on new NAFTA would be 'huge mistake' Pelosi casts doubt on USMCA deal in 2019 Pelosi sounds hopeful on new NAFTA deal despite tensions with White House 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.