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Major Business and Agriculture Groups Call for Removal of Steel and Aluminum Tariffs on Canada and Mexico

In letter, a broad alliance of key associations calls for an end to tariffs on these products prior to completion of USMCA

Washington D.C. – A broad alliance of business and agriculture groups today urged United States Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer to remove tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Mexico and Canada following the successful negotiation of the United States -Mexico - Canada Agreement (USMCA).

The letter, signed by 34 associations, represents the concerns of a broad array of steel and aluminum-consuming businesses who have been greatly affected by tariffs on imports from Mexico and Canada.

"This is a top concern about USMCA for all of these associations, which represent a huge portion of American manufacturing and agriculture" said Rufus Yerxa, President of the National Foreign Trade Council. "Eliminating these unwarranted 232 tariffs on our North American partners is absolutely key if these associations are to give full support to the agreement in Congress. All sectors of our economy are being affected by these tariffs – manufacturers are struggling to find materials to make products in the U.S., farmers and ranchers are having a hard time exporting their goods to countries that have imposed retaliatory tariffs, and consumers are beginning to see higher prices for everyday goods."

The letter outlines five main reasons why the administration should remove these tariffs:
  • First: Tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum are entirely inconsistent with the overall goals of the USMCA;
  • Second: The USMCA rules of origin already require the use of North American steel in the production of vehicles;
  • Third: Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum (and the related absolute import quotas) have caused significant harm to American manufacturers, consumers and workers;
  • Fourth: The continuation of these tariffs with respect to Mexico and Canada may create impediments to Congressional passage of the USMCA implementing bill; and
  • Finally: Retaliatory tariffs are hurting American exporters and putting American jobs at risk.
To read the full text of the letter, click here.