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Canada, Mexico lift tariffs on US goods after Trump scraps steel, aluminum levies

Canada and Mexico on Monday lifted tariffs on a slew of U.S. goods, including steel, aluminum, whiskey and beef as the three countries push for ratification of an updated trade agreement.

The moves by Canada and Mexico come three days after President TrumpDonald TrumpSchumer: Impeachment trial will be quick, doesn't need a lot of witnesses Nurse to be tapped by Biden as acting surgeon general: report Schumer calls for Biden to declare climate emergency MORE struck a deal to exempt both trading partners from U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Trump imposed tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on imported aluminum in March 2018 and ended an exemption for Canada, Mexico and several others two months later. 

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Canada and Mexico were among several countries to impose tariffs on U.S. steel and aluminum last June in retaliation, also targeting American orange juice, whiskey and beef.

Trump imposed the tariffs in part to create leverage over Canada and Mexico as the three nations renegotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Both countries insisted that the steel and aluminum tariffs be lifted before ratifying the new version of NAFTA that was finalized in October.

The new deal, called the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), requires the approval of legislatures in all three countries before it can go into effect.

"With these developments, Canadian and American businesses can now get back to what they do best: working together constructively and supporting good, well-paying middle class jobs on both sides of the border,” said Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau in a statement. “The removal of tariffs and countermeasures is a true win-win for everyone involved, and great news for Canadian and American workers, for our communities, and our economies."

Trump’s deals with Mexico and Canada help eliminate one obstacle to getting the USMCA approved by Congress.

Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyOn The Money: Treasury announces efforts to help people get stimulus payments | Senate panel unanimously advances Yellen nomination for Treasury | Judge sets ground rules for release of Trump taxes Senate panel unanimously advances Yellen nomination for Treasury Finance Committee vote on Yellen nomination scheduled for Friday MORE (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, pledged to block a vote to ratify the USMCA unless Trump lifted tariffs on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum.

But the president still faces long odds in getting the USMCA through the House, where Democrats are largely opposed to the deal.

Top Democratic lawmakers, including Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOklahoma man who videotaped himself with his feet on desk in Pelosi's office during Capitol riot released on bond House formally sends impeachment to Senate, putting Trump on trial for Capitol riot With another caravan heading North, a closer look at our asylum law MORE (Calif.), say the USMCA must include tighter labor and environmental standards to win support from the party.