WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Amid an escalating trade dispute between the U.S. and China, President Donald Trump has announced moves to ease trade tensions with other countries.
Trump revealed during remarks before the National Association of Realtors that the U.S. will lift steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico.
'I'm pleased to announce that we've just reached an agreement with Canada and Mexico and will be selling our product into those countries without the imposition of tariffs or major tariffs,' Trump said.
A joint statement from the U.S. and Canadian governments said the U.S. tariffs and the Canadian retaliatory tariffs would be lifted within two days.
Trump imposed a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum from Canada and Mexico last year, citing national security concerns.
The elimination of the tariffs is seen as an effort to encourage lawmakers to ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, Trump's replacement for NAFTA.
Earlier in the day, the Trump administration officially delayed imposing tariffs on imported automobiles and parts for up to six months.
A White House statement noted Trump has directed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to negotiate agreements to address the national security threat posed by auto imports.
'United States defense and military superiority depend on the competitiveness of our automobile industry and the research and development that industry generates,' White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said.
She added, 'The negotiation process will be led by United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and, if agreements are not reached within 180 days, the President will determine whether and what further action needs to be taken.'
Trump had faced a Saturday deadline to impose the tariffs or delay the decision to allow for further negotiations with the European Union and Japan.
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