President Donald Trump took steps Friday to lift import taxes on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum as well as delaying auto tariffs that would have hurt Japan and Europe.
By removing the metals tariffs on Canada and Mexico, President Trump cleared a key roadblock to a North American trade pact his team negotiated last year.
In a joint statement, the U.S. and Canada said they would work to prevent cheap imports of steel and aluminum from entering North America. China has long been accused of flooding world markets with subsidized metal, driving down world prices and hurting U.S. producers.
Earlier Friday, the White House said President Trump is delaying for six months any decision to slap tariffs on foreign cars, a move that would have hit Japan and Europe especially hard.
“If agreements are not reached within 180 days, the president will determine whether and what further action needs to be taken,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
President Trump is hoping to use the threat of auto tariffs to pressure Japan and the European Union into making concessions in ongoing trade talks.