Trudeau Says Canada Does Not Link Trump Tariffs to NAFTA Deal

Trudeau Says Canada Does Not Link Trump Tariffs to NAFTA Deal

Considering the fact that the majority of America's imports of steel come from Canada, the European Union, Mexico and South Korea, the new tariffs also seem likely to damage US allies more than Trump's ultimate rival China.

From an aluminium smelter, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called US President Donald Trump on Monday to press for a permanent exclusion from US tariffs on aluminium and steel.

Donnelly also said the Canadian government must put resources in place to ensure that cheap steel is not diverted into Canada after Trump last week made a decision to impose a 25 percent tariffs on steel imports. Since most tariffs are already low, affected countries are allowed to impose their own tariffs on U.S. goods and services but only for three years.

Canada, the biggest supplier of steel and aluminum to the United States, escaped Trump's import duties along with Mexico, but the two countries could still face duties if they fail to reach a deal with the Trump administration on modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement.

What he heard directly from the president echoed public remarks from Trump's administration: the USA trade czar recently said he wants a new NAFTA concluded within weeks, because of upcoming elections in the different countries.

"The exemptions aren't a magical favour that was being done", Trudeau later said in an interview with US television's CNBC.

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NAFTA talks might now enter an intense phase: "President Trump emphasized the importance of quickly concluding the ongoing NAFTA negotiations", said a readout from the White House on Monday's call with Trudeau.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland will be in Washington for three days this week - meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and key members of Congress. "While we are grateful that our trading partners, Canada and Mexico, are now exempt, it is our view that these tariffs will quickly become a tax on the fix and maintenance of vehicles, a tax that will ultimately be paid for in higher fix prices by the American auto owner".

Later, Canada and Mexico were exempted from the imposition of the trade tariffs. So that whole issue of national security is off the table.

There's no question steel is an essential part of a wide range of weapons and other goods used by the military, from tanks to battleships.

Later this week, Trudeau is due to visit the Ontario steel city of Hamilton, where workers are on edge.

Other stops will include Hamilton, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and Regina, Sask. Canada has said that tariffs would hurt both the United States and Canada. While the penalties take effect later this month, Trump has encouraged countries to try negotiating exemptions for themselves.

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