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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 John TrumpTrump admin to announce coronavirus vaccine will be covered under Medicare, Medicaid: report Election officials say they're getting suspicious emails that may be part of malicious attack on voting: report McConnell tees up Trump judicial pick following Supreme Court vote 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 GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyBarrett confirmation stokes Democrats' fears over ObamaCare On The Money: Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi bullish, Trump tempers optimism | Analysis: Nearly 1M have run out of jobless benefits Grassley: Voters should be skeptical of Biden's pledge to not raise middle class taxes 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 PelosiOn The Money: Businesses, wealthy brace for Biden tax hikes | Dow falls more than 650 points as COVID-19 cases rise, stimulus hopes fade | Kudlow doesn't expect Trump to release detailed economic plan before election Overnight Health Care: US sets a new record for average daily coronavirus cases | Meadows on pandemic response: 'We're not going to control it' | Pelosi blasts Trump for not agreeing to testing strategy Gaffes put spotlight on Meadows at tough time for Trump MORE (Calif.), say the USMCA must include tighter labor and environmental standards to win support from the party.