A new North American trade deal looms as the US has reached a deal with Mexico and Canada to lift tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.
The Trump administration announced that a 25% tariff on steel imports, and of 10% on aluminium, will end in 48 hours
The US implemented the tariffs last year on grounds of “national security”.
Under the agreement, there will be no quotas on how much steel or aluminium the three countries buy from overseas.
However, the US, Mexico and Canada will monitor imports and if a country is determined to be buying in too much, one of the other nations can request a consultation and potentially re-impose tariffs.
Getting rid of the tariffs is viewed as a key hurdle to approval for the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement trade deal (USMCA) which was signed in 2018. It replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has delayed a decision on whether to impose levies on cars and car parts imports.
The White House has put back the decision by six months to allow more time for trade talks with the European Union and Japan.
Tariffs of up to 25% on imported cars and car parts were under consideration.
A report by the Commerce Department claimed that imports of foreign-made cars and auto parts into the US were a threat to national security.
The report has not been published, but in Friday’s announcement Mr Trump cited its findings which conclude that US carmakers are missing out on revenues to invest in research and development (R&D).
It said: “The lag in R&D expenditures by American-owned producers is weakening innovation and, accordingly, threatening to impair our national security.”
The president said he agreed with the study’s finding that imported cars and trucks were “weakening our internal economy”.