President Donald Trump says Mexico and Canada will face steel and aluminum tariffs if the North American Free Trade Agreement talks don’t progress to his likings by May 1. The administration has granted an exemption to Canada and Mexico from the tariffs. However, a White House document says Trump will decide by May 1, “whether to continue to exempt these countries from tariffs, based on the status of discussions.” The move, Bloomberg reports, puts pressure on Canada and Mexico to progress and complete the talks.
Mexican officials have hoped to wrap-up the process by the end of April, before the country’s summer election, and the U.S. midterm election later this year. The move by Trump comes as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says momentum is building, and that “a win-win-win deal is not only possible but likely.” Still, there are many issues left to agree on, including major agriculture issues. An American Farm Bureau Federation economist speculated earlier this month that the NAFTA renegotiation effort would stretch into next year.