Trudeau Floats Tariffs to Prevent Flood of Steel Through Canada

Trudeau Floats Tariffs to Prevent Flood of Steel Through Canada

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

Asked whether he trusted the president, Trudeau said Trump has always kept his word to him and has been consistent in doing what he said he would do.

"When we talk about these things, very often China is mentioned, there is also mention made of Russian Federation", he said, according to remarks translated from French by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

Trump recently exempted Canada and Mexico from tariffs on steel and aluminum, although the USA government has been dropping hints that the exception is only temporary.

"We are alert to that, we are working with partners in industry, with our American partners, to ensure that does not happen", Trudeau said of so-called transshipment.

Gary Howe, president of local 1005 of the United Steelworkers union, said his members who work at Stelco Holdings Inc. are taking the tariff issue in stride, having lived through the cutbacks and job cuts generated by two trips through protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act since 2004.

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While Trump did eventually live up to his word that he would exclude Canada, the Trudeau government has spent the past year lobbying USA government officials for the exemption.

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.

His Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland, will be in Washington on Tuesday and Thursday to "advance Canada's efforts to keep trade open, fair and barrier-free, to benefit people on both sides of the border", her ministry said in a statement.

Trudeau said the surplus of steel in the global market is not new and with American tariffs in place, some countries might try to ship to the USA through Canada. Canadian aluminum is in your fighter jets. So that whole issue of national security is off the table.

"Ahead of actually applying border measures on offshore steel, there is a need for the Trudeau government to state its clear policy in dealing with steel diversion", Mr. Herman wrote in a memo to clients Monday. In past conversations, Trudeau says he told Trump the tariffs would hinder ongoing NAFTA talks.

"We need tools to deal with this surge", he said, but added that the federal government can't wait for the traditional method of the industry taking cases to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal.

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