The matter of whether or not Donald Trump decides to extend the tariff exemptions to Mexico and Canada in the steel and aluminum sectors will depend on the state of negotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the U.S.’ Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Monday.
This is at a time when there is an increase in the uncertainty of an agreement in the commercial pact and the proximity of a deadline, indicated by the U.S. Congress, to achieve a consensus among the countries that make up this alliance.
“Depending on where we are in NAFTA on June 1, the president will decide whether or not to extend his situation. It cannot be predicted at the moment, “Ross said, referring to Mexico and Canada, during a forum at the National Press Club, according to a Notimex report.
It is worth remembering that the U.S. president extended the exemption to Mexico, Canada and the European Union for the imposition of tariffs on their exports of steel and aluminum to the United States on April 30, and for an additional 30 days.
Regarding the status of the negotiations, the Commerce Secretary mentioned that issues such as the rules of origin, the automatic termination clause and the dispositions of resolution of disputes, the so-called Chapter 19, are still pending; which have slowed conversations from the beginning.
“They are very complex issues, particularly the rules of origin,” Ross said. He added that eventually it will be the negotiators who will have to discuss each point and each comma in the texts.
Last week, Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan said that the U.S. Congress would have to receive the agreement by Thursday, May 17, if the three countries’ interest are to be voted on this year.