Several lawmakers expressed their dismay that the tariffs on our key allies have not been lifted. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., separately said they were "disappointed" there is still no resolution. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said the tariffs are "doing more harm than good." He added that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said over the summer that the tariffs would be lifted as part of the larger trade negotiation.
"Our objective is to have a revitalized NAFTA, a NAFTA that helps America and as part of that the 232s would logically go away both as it relates to Canada and to Mexico," Ross told the Senate Finance Committee in testimony on June 20.
Speaking to reporters in Buenos Aires, Argentina, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the tariffs are working, but that negotiations were continuing.
"We want an agreement that is fair to Mexico and fair to Canada but maintains the integrity of the president`s steel and aluminum programs which have been very successful for the U.S.," he said.
Some policy watchers predict that the tariffs will be lifted soon.
"USTR Lighthizer today carefully acknowledged that the three countries will negotiate on the tariffs. Once they agree that there are demonstrably changed circumstances on metals issues, the metals tariffs on Canada and Mexico likely cease, our instinct is early in the New Year," Terry Haines, an analyst at ISI Evercore, wrote in a note to clients.
But businesses and farmers are growing impatient. An agricultural coalition group formed to oppose tariffs said that U.S. exports targeted with retaliation, including beef, pork and apples have faced more than $1.1 billion in new tariffs, leading to a 21 percent drop in exports.
"While USMCA offers exciting opportunities for market access into America`s largest and closest ag export markets, any gains will continue to be offset by the losses farmers are experiencing from retaliatory tariffs as long as they are in place," Brian Kuehl, executive director of Farmers for Free Trade, wrote in a statement.
The influential Business Roundtable also called for a "prompt resolution" of the tariff issue and said it would review the USMCA against the objective of increasing the competitiveness of U.S. companies.