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Update on USMCA and Mexico Tariffs

In the last week, there were a number of developments on the international trade front that could have varying impacts on the recycling industry.

All three parties to the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) took their respective first procedural steps to begin the ratification process:

  • Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau’s government introduced a motion to inform the House of Commons of legislative changes that will be included in the agreement’s implementing bill – and then followed a day later with introducing the bill itself.
  • Mexican President López Obrador signaled that his administration will soon present the required texts to the Mexican Senate to begin its deliberations.
  • The Trump Administration sent to Congress its draft “Statement of Administration Action,” which starts a 30 day consultative clock before the Administration can send the final implementing bill for Congressional deliberation.

Much of the agreement’s future lies in the debate in Washington. The 232 tariffs have been lifted on products from Canada and Mexico, which was a major, bipartisan Congressional demand. House Democrats are saying that they wish to see how Mexico implements its labor reforms before they consider taking a vote … and are now calling the Administration’s filing of the “Statement” premature.

Then on Thursday night, after the markets and Administration offices closed, President Trump tweeted that he would impose tariffs on “all products” from Mexico until the country’s government takes action on the flow of immigrants passing through to the U.S. Because of the form and timing with which this announcement took place, there was no other information available to answer questions, such as will scrap be included?  At the time of this writing, that is still unknown, but as soon as we know, ISRI will inform the membership.

The Mexican President already said he will not retaliate and will continue to move ahead with the ratification process for the USMCA. But on the U.S. side, it will have an effect on the debate in Congress as there has already been denunciations of the move by Members from both parties.

For more information, please contact Adina Renee Adler.

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