Trudeau floats tariffs to prevent flood of steel through Canada

Clay Curtis
March 16, 2018

"But I should stress that overcapacity of the steel industry is a global issue and can not be resolved by any single party alone", Lu told a regular press briefing.

Speaking in Hamilton on Tuesday, Trudeau said there are measures in place, including tariffs and tougher border controls, to prevent steel and aluminum producers in other countries from using Canada as a back door to slip cheap metal into the U.S.

"I understand this point of view, but for me, I think Canadians in general are expecting us to work productively with the United States", Trudeau said.

Mr. Trump has stated that the tariffs could be extended to two NAFTA partners if Canada and Mexico do not bend to US demands in the renegotiation of that trade agreement. However, as reported earlier, this innovation is not going to hurt the two bordering countries: Canada and Mexico due to the expectations of NAFTA.

Trudeau asked after their families and how they had been coping with the possibility of tariffs that he had said would have a devastating impact in Canada.

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. The steel tariff investigation was launched to see the impact of steel imports on USA national security.

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Prime minister Justin Trudeau is at Algoma Steel this morning to show his support for the local steel industry. He added that national security was an important part of that deal and, if a deal is made, "this will figure into the deal and we won't have the tariffs on Canada or Mexico".

"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 smelter in Alma, Quebec, his first stop on a tour this week of Canada's steel and aluminum regions.

"National security issues do not apply - could not apply to Canada - when we have our aluminum in their fighter jets, our steel that goes into their armoured vehicles", Trudeau said.

US tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum would be "very harmful" for industry and workers in both countries, he added.

Earlier on Monday, Finance Minister Henrique Mereilles said Brazil's government had not made a decision yet on how to respond to the tariffs and needed to see what exactly the United States wanted in negotiations.

Following the roundtable, Trudeau headed to a second plant, this time Dofasco, for another tour.

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