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Trump Trade Deal Clears Hurdle As Canada And US Agree To End Tariff Battle

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Evie Fordham Politics and Health Care Reporter

President Donald Trump’s North American trade deal progressed further Friday when the U.S. and Canada agreed to end their tariff battle that began in the summer of 2018.

“Now that we’ve had a full lift on these tariffs, we are going to work with the United States on timing ratification” of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday afternoon.

“We’re very optimistic we’re going to be able to move forward well in the coming weeks,” Trudeau added.

He was speaking to reporters during a press conference at a Stelco steel mill in Hamilton, Ontario. (RELATED: Federal Agents Storm Venezuelan Embassy, Arrest Protesters)

The two countries will eliminate the tariffs on steel, aluminum and other products within 48 hours, the U.S. and Canadian governments said in a joint statement.

U.S. President Donald Trump shake hand with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as they attend the USMCA signing ceremony together with Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto before the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina November 30, 2018. REUTERS/Andres Stapff

U.S. President Donald Trump shake hands with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. REUTERS/Andres Stapff

Canada enacted tariffs on $12.5 billion in U.S. exports including steel, aluminum and other products July 1, 2018, as a response to U.S. tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum that were enacted previously.

Canada’s tariffs included a 25% penalty on more than 40 U.S. steel products and 10% penalties on U.S. goods including maple syrup, coffee beans and strawberry jam, reported CNN.

Trudeau and Trump had discussed the steel tariffs earlier Friday, Trudeau’s office said, according to CBC. In addition, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland met with U.S. officials and members of Congress in Washington, D.C., earlier in May.

Although the price of steel spiked after Trump announced the tariffs, prices fell to pre-tariff levels in January, according to benchmark prices compiled by S&P Global Platts.

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