Trump, Trudeau disagree on steel tariffs' connection to NAFTA

Elias Hubbard
March 13, 2018

When Trump announced last week 10 percent tariffs on aluminum and 25 percent on steel, he said Canada and Mexico could be exempted permanently if the ongoing renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is successful.

Trudeau says he's been telling U.S. President Donald Trump for over a year that there is no national security threat from Canadian steel or aluminum.

Mr Trump described the "dumping" of steel and aluminium in the United States market as an "assault on our country", adding that domestic metals production was vital to national security. "Our steel, our aluminium is in their tanks and ships and planes".

Mr. Trump has exempted Canada and Mexico from the tariffs while NAFTA is being renegotiated.

Trudeau, who is expected to travel to three other Canadian steel cities to reassure workers in the coming days, said Canada already has "significant barriers" in place to prevent low-priced steel and aluminum from being dumped there, and is prepared to work with Washington to "do even more".

US tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum would be "very harmful" for industry and workers in both countries, he added.

Trudeau kicks off the tour today in Jonquiere, Quebec.

The prime minister will be in Hamilton on Tuesday.

Trudeau asked after their families and how they had been coping with the possibility of tariffs that he had said would have a devastating impact in Canada.

"What we expect from the European Union is of course to act very swiftly in the next weeks to implement safeguards measures, in order to save thousands of jobs in the steel industry", said Eurofer general director Axel Eggert.

Following the roundtable, Trudeau headed to a second plant, this time Dofasco, for another tour.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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