Justin Trudeau visiting Hamilton to show support for steel workers

Trudeau told reporters in Quebec on Monday that it was a team Canada effort to convince the U.S. that duties on steel and aluminum should not apply to Canada

Trudeau told reporters in Quebec on Monday that it was a team Canada effort to convince the U.S. that duties on steel and aluminum should not apply to Canada

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.

President Trump temporarily exempted Canada and Mexico from new tariffs of 25 per cent on foreign steel and 10 per cent one on aluminum; he imposed those tariffs last week, citing China's dumping of excess product at below market rates as a national-security threat.

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 is scheduled to tour steel mills in Hamilton, Sault Ste.

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

"This week, I will travel across Canada to meet with the workers and businesses at the heart of our country's world-class steel and aluminum industries".

Trudeau says he will keep the pressure on Trump during the tariff negotiations, as well as on negotiations for 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.

"There is no national security argument to be made against Canada", Trudeau said.

Trudeau is also brushing off the idea that Canada might be bullied into a deal. "We must be concerned by the actions that are being taken by the global community and understand that we simply can not allow countries such as that to destroy our local industry".

His comments came amid rising global trade tensions in the wake of a U.S. decision to impose steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminium.

Later, Canada and Mexico were exempted from the imposition of the trade tariffs.

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.

"There is a global overcapacity issue and we are very pleased to work with our allies and friends to continue to counter that problem", he said. He will follow that up by speaking to steel industry leaders at the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel during a round table discussion. He also credited Trump for keeping a promise: he said the president told him at last year's G7 that Canada would get an exemption, and kept his word.

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