McGroarty argues that the removal of U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum coming from Mexico and Canada, which have been a “dead weight on the ratification of the USMCA trade deal meant to replace NAFTA,” could “strengthen the president’s hand in the China trade talks” and ultimately “super-charge a North American resource renaissance.”
“A new deal that lifted the tariffs would (…) clear the way for the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to work together to encourage the development of critical minerals — that rapidly-changing group of metals and minerals essential to advanced technology, including everything from laptops and LEDs, wind and solar power, EV batteries and energy storage, to smart phones and smart bombs.
With the U.S. dependent on China as its primary supplier of 22 of the 35 critical minerals the Trump administration has deemed ‘essential to the national economy and national security,’ new sources of North American supply could (…) deprive China of the leverage it has to limit or even cut off U.S. critical mineral supplies.”
A joint focus on critical minerals fueled by the U.S.’s and Canada’s mineral riches and Mexico’s long history of mining copper and gold that brings with it great potential of co-product access could “could energize new methods of mining, refining, reclamation and recycling that could bring new supply online to meet surging metals demand.”
Ultimately, lifting the above-referenced tariffs could have benefits that stretch beyond the three countries.
“So, while the headlines are dominated by U.S.-China trade war, watch for news on the North American trade front. If the president acts now to lift U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum, opening the path to the passage of the USMCA — linking three nations with a combined GDP of $25 trillion –— trade friction will give way to a new era of trade expansion and economic growth. Trade peace in North America may be just the signal the president wants to send as trade war looms with China.”