A bipartisan group of House lawmakers called for U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to put the “highest priority” on lifting tariffs on Canada and Mexico.
Seven House Republicans and one Democrat urged U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in a letter Tuesday to strike deals with Canada and Mexico allowing the removal of Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum as the Trump administration looks to implement the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
“We note that on many occasions over the past year, administration officials linked lifting the steel and aluminum tariffs on Mexico and Canada to the success of negotiations to update” NAFTA, wrote the lawmakers, who included retiring House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Chairman Dave Reichert, R-Wash., and Rep. Ron Kind, Wis., a free-trade Democrat. “However, despite the fact that President Trump recently signed [USMCA], the tariffs — and the retaliation from Mexico and Canada — remain in place.”
The lawmakers said U.S. farmers, manufacturers, workers and consumers will continue to be hurt by the tariffs, especially retaliatory measures, until an agreement is reached to lift the tariffs.
The lawmakers urged Lighthizer to “put the highest priority” on full elimination of the U.S. and retaliatory tariffs as soon as possible “and certainly before congressional consideration” of USMCA implementing legislation.
USTR didn’t immediately comment.
Correction: A previous version of this article stated that signers of the letter included six Republicans and two Democrats. Signers actually included seven Republicans and one Democrat.