Grassley: US and Canada near deal to lift tariffs on steel, aluminum

Grassley: US and Canada near deal to lift tariffs on steel, aluminum
© Greg Nash

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOvernight Defense: Trump rails against media coverage | Calls reporting on Iran tensions 'highly inaccurate' | GOP senator blocking Trump pick for Turkey ambassador | Defense bill markup next week Trump reaches deal to lift steel, aluminum tariffs on Mexico, Canada Top GOP senator blocking Trump's pick for Turkey ambassador MORE (R-Iowa) signaled Tuesday that the U.S. and Canada might be moving closer to a deal that will lift steel and aluminum tariffs implemented by President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons' Rocket attack hits Baghdad's Green Zone amid escalating tensions: reports Buttigieg on Trump tweets: 'I don't care' MORE

He told reporters during a press call that he is optimistic “based on the fact that it seems to me … that they’re talking,” according to Politico.

“That’s my understanding. And [there’s] even the possibility of some face-to-face talks very soon," the Senate Finance Committee chairman added. "And maybe in 48 hours I’ll have a more definitive answer for you."

Grassley did not discuss how such discussions were going with Mexico, but Mexican Undersecretary for North America Jesús Seade told Politico that he hopes to reach an agreement on the matter in the next few weeks.

Grassley also indicated that a tariff agreement would put more pressure on House Democrats to explicitly say what it would take for them to pass Trump's U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. 

Grassley also said that if the NAFTA replacement is not passed this year, it will be halted until after the 2020 elections. 

“If we don’t get it done this year, it won’t be done until after the next presidential election,” Grassley said.

The senator has previously advocated for Trump to remove the tariffs.

The Hill has reached out to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative for comment.