Trudeau, Trump talk steel and aluminum

Trudeau, Trump talk steel and aluminum

"We are negotiating the NAFTA accord in good faith and we will continue to do so but I don't want the president to think he can bring tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum without there being consequences".

The American administration has expressed a desire to get a NAFTA deal in a hurry and some prominent members have been suggesting that the threat of steel and aluminum tariffs might prod the negotiations along.

"The exemptions aren't a magical favour that was being done (for Canada)", Trudeau said.

Trudeau called his American counterpart during a tour of aluminum facilities in Quebec, on a day the prime minister did American television interviews to promote the integrated Canada-U.S. economy. He added that national security was an important part of that deal and, if a deal is made, "this will figure into the deal and we won't have the tariffs on Canada or Mexico".

Trump said he would temporarily exempt Canada and Mexico from global steel and aluminium tariffs while the three countries negotiate a new NAFTA deal. Trump did say he expected both Canada and Mexico to take action to prevent other countries from sneaking steel into the U.S.by sending them to Canada or Mexico first.

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The prime minister made the point by mentioning in his USA interview that he was a few kilometres from the Bagotville air force base, built during the Second World War to protect critical aluminum supplies required by the military.

"I look forward to hearing directly from workers about how we can work together to address these issues and help our steel and aluminum industries grow and succeed". He's also set to visit Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and Regina.

When Trump announced the 10 per cent tariffs on aluminum and 25 per cent on steel, he said Canada and Mexico could be exempted permanently if the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is successful. While the penalties take effect later this month, Trump has encouraged countries to try negotiating exemptions for themselves. The prime minister was touring an aluminum smelter in Alma, Quebec.

Trump's words only confirmed their suspicions when he seemed to link the metals tariffs with the 24-year-old trade deal that is being renegotiated in great part because of Mexico's big and growing trade surplus in autos and auto parts. Quebec has a supply management system regarding dairy, poultry and eggs, which imposes steep tariffs on those products entering the country.

Trudeau's dumping accusations against Beijing, which echoed Trump's own message, come after exploratory talks with China failed to advance to Canada-China free trade negotiations.

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