Trudeau Says Canada Does Not Link Trump Tariffs to NAFTA Deal

13 Marcha, 2018, 02:34 | Author: Kelly Blake
  • Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland

U.S. President Donald Trump greets Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., October 11, 2017.

In a recent interview with CBC Radio One, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that there will be "legislation coming forward on addressing" the Canadian justice system.

Trudeau is brushing off the idea that Canada might be bullied into a deal.

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.

Canada, which sells about 90 per cent of the steel produced in this country to the United States, is exempt for now.

Freeland is coming off a tense week which started with the seventh round of NAFTA negotiations making little progress towards an agreement but ended with a sigh of relief when Canada and Mexico secured an exemption from new US tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Trudeau told a U.S. TV audience 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.

"The exemptions aren't a magical favour that was being done (for Canada)", Trudeau said.

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He says he made similar points to Trump last week, in a phone call before the tariff decision. He's now holding Canada and Mexico hostage at those talks.

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 USA administration.

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.

Other stops will include Hamilton, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and Regina, Sask.

The Mexican peso led gains among the world's major currencies and the Canadian dollar erased its decline after Trump announced the exemptions for the two countries.

Lawrence Valley and the Great Lakes, to the ports of the east and west coasts and urban centres across the country, Canada's steel and aluminum industries provide thousands of Canadians with good, middle class jobs and play an important role in our economy.

Trump praised his top trade representative during his remarks Thursday, and said Lighthizer would be responsible for negotiating with countries seeking additional exemptions from the aluminum and steel levies.

Trump and his trade officials have signalled in the past they are looking for more access to Canada's dairy market within a renegotiated NAFTA deal.



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