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Trump NAFTA Deal Facing Hurdle on Tariffs

President Donald Trump just celebrated the signing of a new North American trade pact with Canada and Mexico, but he faces a huge roadblock in Congress over U.S. tariffs that are still in place on steel and aluminum imports from the two U.S. neighbors.

Politico reported that the two nations are still working to negotiate a deal with the Trump administration so that they can be exempt from the duties. In the meantime, American industries will continue to be hurt by Mexico and Canada’s retaliatory duties on more than $15 billion worth of U.S. goods.

“If you’re trying to whip votes, you’d take advantage of the opportunity to lift that instead of leaving an irritant on the table,” a former U.S. Trade Representative official told Politico. “It’s going to make [administration officials’] lives harder to get Congress on board as constituents are complaining a lot” about the harm of the ongoing tariffs.

Trump has stepped up his pressure on getting the new agreement turned into law after he told reporters on Saturday (Dec. 1) that he would formally notify Congress of his intention to withdraw from NAFTA in six months. Such a move could force lawmakers to act on the new deal, which is already expected to face a fiery debate from lawmakers over concerns about certain provisions related to labor and LGBTQ rights.

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