What Happened: Kevin Brady, a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee, has said the U.S. Congress will not consider approving the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) until it receives assurances that import tariffs on steel and aluminum will be lifted, Inside U.S. Trade reported Jan. 29. Imports of steel and aluminum from Canada and Mexico remain subject to U.S. tariffs under Section 232 of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act.
Why It Matters: Brady's comments suggest that the U.S. House of Representatives will not move to approve the USMCA without prior action from the White House. The Trump administration is attempting to maintain quotas on Mexican aluminum and steel, although Congressional reluctance to approve the agreement might cause the White House to drop the demand. Import tariffs on aluminum and steel remain a considerable obstacle to approving the USMCA.
Background: The United States, Canada, and Mexico agreed to approve a renegotiated version of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in September 2018. The agreement is subject to approval in the three member states' legislatures.
- North America Has a New Trade Pact. Now What? (Nov. 30, 2018)
- A New Trade Deal Gets NAFTA Members Back Together (Oct. 1, 2018)
- U.S.: Trump Announces a Trade Deal, but With Whom? (Aug. 31, 2018)