Trudeau, Trump talk steel and aluminum

Trudeau, Trump talk steel and aluminum

Trudeau, Trump talk steel and aluminum

The steel tariff threat was seen by many to be an attempt by the Trump administration to pressure Canada and Mexico to complete the NAFTA talks - giving in to other US demands or giving up some of their own -rather than risk the punishing steel and aluminum duties. 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.

Global trade lawyer Larry Herman says Canada can do several things, including promising temporary surcharges under the Customs Tariffs Act on any country found to be dumping steel, as well as tightening up the system that issues permits for steel imports, which he says is more a formality than a check on the system at the moment.

Freeland said it was absurd to consider Canadian steel a national security threat and that "as far as Canada is concerned there is absolutely no connection" between the national security reasons cited for the steel tariffs and NAFTA. Canada has said that tariffs would hurt both the United States and Canada.

"We are ready to take action whenever action is required. we had your backs last week and we always will", Trudeau said after visiting a Rio Tinto Ltd (RIO.AX) (RIO.L) smelter in Alma, Quebec, his first stop on a tour this week of Canada's steel and aluminum regions. "We are too, so we're glad to do it".

Mr. Trudeau argued that Canada - the largest supply list of steel to the United States - is a key American defence ally and noted Canadian steel is used to manufacture US tanks and Canadian aluminum is in America warplanes.

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"Cherry-picking particular tariffs in one category, like looking just at vehicle tariffs on both sides, misses the whole picture, while not taking into account lower levels on other products does not give an accurate picture of tariffs in general", a Commission spokesman said. Mexican federal elections scheduled for July 1 and US congressional elections in the fall are adding pressure, as changes of government as a result of either could affect both getting a deal and getting it ratified.

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

Following the close of the seventh round of negotiations last week in Mexico, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the U.S. wants to get a deal done in the next four to six weeks. Two days later, word trickled out that Canada and Mexico would both be given exemptions, pending the outcome of NAFTA talks.

Phone conversations are continuing, but no new meeting was planned as of Monday.

The Commission said it expected to be in contact with Washington over the metals tariffs this week, but that no formal talks had been scheduled. Marie, Ont., and Regina, Sask.

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