Justin Trudeau visiting Hamilton to support steel workers

AFP  Getty Images

AFP Getty Images

The president made it clear, however, that if a deal is not reached, the tariffs would be imposed, "If we terminate NAFTA because they are unable to make a deal that is fair for our workers, fair for our farmers, and fair for our manufacturers, then we will terminate NAFTA and start all over again".

The U.S. has said further delays might imperil the negotiations, with an outsider candidate leading polls for Mexico's July 1 election, and with Trump's party in danger of losing control of the U.S. Congress. 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.

While Canada and Mexico secured temporary reprieve, Trump has linked permanent exemption to a successful North American Free Trade Agreement deal, make industry nervous.

Behind closed doors, Trudeau and industry representatives spoke about the issue of cheap steel entering Canada, but did not get into specifics, Canadian Steel Producers Association (CSPA) President Joseph Galimberti said.

Canada, the top supplier of steel and aluminium to the USA market, has been temporarily exempted from the tariffs, along with Mexico. Some of the highlights: Presidential proclamations, signed March 8, set in motion a new tariff regime created to come into effect 15 days after signing, . Canada and Mexico are both indicating a willingness to step up the pace of the talks but not at the expense of getting a good deal for all. New tariffs dominate a busy news cycle.

The Canadian prime minister also said during the interview that United States exemptions to tariffs were not a "magical favor being done".

On the subject of national-security tariffs, Trudeau told CNN: "Canadian aluminum is in your fighter jets". There is no better security partner in the world.

"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.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with workers during a visit to Stelco Hamilton Works in Hamilton Ont., Tuesday, March 13, 2018.

The Trump administration has set tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum, applicable to every country except Canada and Mexico.

Moreover, even if the over-reliance on steel imports were truly "weakening the internal economy" and "shrinking [US] ability to meet national security production requirements in a national emergency", as stated in the report, it's ironic that President Trump would then grant exemptions to Canada and Mexico - the largest and fourth largest exporters of steel to the United States respectively. While the penalties take effect later this month, Trump has encouraged countries to try negotiating exemptions for themselves.

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