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Reports: US set to lift steel, aluminum tariffs on Canada, Mexico

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Reports: US set to lift steel, aluminum tariffs on Canada, Mexico

The U.S. has agreed to lift steel and aluminum tariffs on imports from Canada and Mexico, with an announcement expected later on May 17, CNBC and Politico reported.

While Bloomberg News reported that the date for actually dropping the tariffs remained an outstanding issue, Politico reported, citing an official involved in the negotiations, that the duties will be removed in 48 hours.

With the tariffs poised to go away, Washington is instead eyeing stronger enforcement actions on steel and aluminum imports, preventing a surge in imports from other continents, Bloomberg and Politico reported.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's communications director said on Twitter that Trudeau had spoken to President Donald Trump regarding the metal tariffs and the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA. No other details were provided.

Trump imposed tariffs of 25% on global steel imports and 10% on aluminum in March 2018, citing national security concerns. Canada, Mexico and the EU received temporary exemptions that were later lifted.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said May 15 that the U.S. was "close to an understanding" with Canada and Mexico regarding the tariff dispute, noting that the issue was key to the passing of the USMCA, the trade pact negotiated by the Trump administration to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The chair of the U.S. Senate committee, which would take up USMCA legislation, has said the trade deal is "dead" unless the metal tariffs were lifted. Mexico has also warned that it could delay the trade pact's ratification due to the tariffs.