Canada: Trump speaks to Trudeau over phone, stresses on fast NAFTA deal

Trudeau Hamilton 20180313

Trump backed off the threat last week, but indicated he could still link any potential tariffs, which could be as high as 25 per cent on Canadian steel and 10 per cent on aluminum, to renegotiating a better deal under the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada.

Mr. Trudeau also took Canada's case to US cable channels on Monday with appearances on MSNBC and CNN.

Mr. Trudeau said his government is working hard to ensure that the exemptions stay in place and took issue with the U.S. President's decision to use the tariffs as a bargaining chip.

'Canadian aluminum is in your fighter jets.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the national security argument the U.S.is making when it comes to considering tariffs for Canadian steel and aluminum makes no sense.

Today, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is in Washington for a series of meetings to push our message on tariffs and NAFTA.

Canada, the top supplier of steel and aluminium to the United States market, has been temporarily exempted from the tariffs, along with Mexico.

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Trudeau told another USA network that he sees them as separate issues: "We don't link together the tariffs and the negotiations with NAFTA", he told CNBC in an interview from a Quebec aluminum plant Monday.

Later, at a roundtable with industry leaders, he spoke again of the importance of steel to Hamilton, but said he was there to listen.

Mr. Trudeau said that the consequences of putting tariffs on steel and aluminum in Canada "would mean pain for workers here in Canada but also job losses and difficulties for workers and their families in the United States", he said.

The prime minister is on a cross-country tour of aluminum and steel factories to demonstrate his government's support for workers in light of potential threats to those industries from the US administration. He was to also visit three Canadian steel cities this week to reassure workers.

Brazil, which is the second biggest supplier of steel to the United States after Canada, remains open for a dialogue to reach an understanding with the United States and is talking to other countries to learn about measures they are considering, he said. Marie and Regina this week.

Days ago, Trump had kind of blackmailed Canada by saying the USA will exempt its neighbouring country from the latest trade tariffs only when a new NAFTA is signed.

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