Trump Lifts Metal Tariffs and Delays Auto Levies, Limiting Global Trade Fight


A congressional aide who has been involved in the talks between the three countries said the White House was growing increasingly sensitive to pressure from Republicans in rural states whose farmers have been suffering from reprisal that diminished their access to sell in neighboring markets. Their problems were compounded when talks with China broke down this month, this person said.

Vice President Mike Pence, who has spent weeks traversing Midwestern states to sell the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement in Congress, relayed the complaints of manufacturers and farmers hurt by the tariffs to Mr. Trump, telling him, “We’ve got to get moving on this.”

While rescinding the metal tariffs will remove one important obstacle to the passage of the trade deal, others remain. House Democrats have insisted that the pact include more labor and environmental protections.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, is in no particular rush to give the president a major domestic policy victory in 2020, according to people familiar with her views.

Jesús Seade, the under secretary for North America at Mexico’s Foreign Ministry, said that he hoped that ending the dispute would give “an extra push” toward ratifying the agreement. Mexico will lift its retaliatory tariffs in a couple of days, he said.

Speaking from Stelco, a steel producer in Hamilton, Ontario, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada said on Friday that the deal was “pure good news” and would help clear the way for the passage of the agreement. “We are very optimistic we will be able to move forward in coming weeks,” he said.

As the White House eased tensions with Canada and Mexico on Friday, it continued to pressure allies elsewhere, including Europe and Japan. Those governments are still not exempt from the steel and aluminum tariffs, and they are likely to bear the brunt of auto tariffs that could reach 25 percent, should Mr. Trump opt to impose them.