President Donald Trump decided to remove aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico on Friday, easing tensions slightly.
The move was announced in a joint statement from the governments of Canada and the United States, which said the tariffs would be lifted in the next two days. Enforcement mechanisms will be implemented to ensure that prices remain unaffected.
A day before the announcement the Trump administration decides to postpone a decision on imposing new tariffs on foreign automobiles while it was negotiating with Japan and the EU toward reaching new trade deals.
CNN informs that the two announcements come at a time when the U.S.’ trade war with China is taking its toll and investors are trying to recover from the shock of President Trump’s sudden decision to increase tariffs on China after trade talks with the country collapsed.
Beijing has vowed to retaliate with tariffs of their own as the President insists the U.S.’ position in that trade war is more favorable, showing no signs of planning to end that standoff. American trade negotiators were set to travel to China soon to resume talks, but for now, there are no indications the trade talks will continue in the near future.
Officials have said that there are only slim chances that the situation would be resolved before President Trump meets his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the end of June at the G20 summit in Japan.
Relations between the U.S. and Canada have historically been friendly, but tensions arose when Trump imposed metal tariffs on steel and aluminum of 25 percent and 10 percent, respectively. Friday’s decision eased those tensions significantly.
“We have a great relationship with Canada, the prime minister,” said Trump, who deemed the agreement “a fantastic deal for our country.”
Trudeau on his part said the resolution was a result of “lots of conversations with the President over the past week and understanding as well that these tariffs were harming workers and consumers on both sides of the border.”
The removal of the tariffs also paves the way for the U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement to be ratified after Canada and Mexico insisted they would not sign it as long as the tariffs are in place. The move is also likely to avert retaliatory tariffs on the U.S.