Canada will not be back door to cheap offshore steel, Trudeau reiterates

Adjust Comment Print

Trump's eagerness to seal the deal of NAFTA came months after the U.S. and Canada were on the loggerheads on this issue.

The prime minister adds he is still working hard to gain a permanent exemption to these tariffs and has made it clear the United States argument of national security makes no sense.

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

"(We're) highlighting that the imposition of tariffs on Canada would end up hurting the USA nearly as much as it would hurt Canada".

NAFTA is an agreement which came into force from January 1994 by Canada, Mexico and United States creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America.

"He always has with me", Trudeau said.

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

Trudeau's view has prominent support: A poll of leading economists from the University of Chicago has found rare unanimity on the topic, with a newly released survey Monday showing that zero per cent of economists surveyed believe tariffs will help Americans.

"How will that impact the Canadian steel industry?"

Steel makers in Canada are pressing the federal government to make sure Canada doesn't become a dumping ground for offshore steel originally destined for the USA market.

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. "We know that the collaboration on NORAD, the collaboration on national security issues narrow and broadly is something that is really important to both of our countries".

'Canadian aluminum is in your fighter jets. There is no better security partner in the world.

Employment at the Stelco mill in Hamilton is about 550 people, said Mr. Howe, who attended the meeting Mr. Trudeau held with steel industry stakeholders in Hamilton.

"There is no better security partner to the United States than Canada is so that whole issue of national security is off the table".

"That's a concern that we share with the Americans", Mr. Trudeau said in Hamilton, the second stop on a journey that began Monday in Quebec and will take him to Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and Regina.

The president of the Canadian Steel Producers Association says Canada may be off the hook for now from American steel and aluminum tariffs but it is still at risk as a glut of foreign steel looks for a new home. While the penalties take effect later this month, Trump has encouraged countries to try negotiating exemptions for themselves.