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'We had your backs': Trudeau on country's steel and aluminum workers

13 March 2018
'We had your backs': Trudeau on country's steel and aluminum workers

At a news conference, he said Canada already has measures in place to prevent foreign countries, mostly China, from dumping steel into Canada, but he can and will do whatever else it takes to protect the industry.

Trump did say he expected both Canada and Mexico to take action to prevent other countries from sneaking steel into the U.S.by sending them to Canada or Mexico first.

"National security is a very important aspect of this deal, and if we're making the deal on NAFTA, this will figure into whether or not there are tariffs on Canada and Mexico", says the president.

In a phone call from the smelter town, Trudeau thanked Trump for the "special consideration" extended to Canada on the tariffs, and emphasized the importance of preserving "mutually beneficial" supply chains to support jobs and businesses on both sides of the border, his office said.

Trade actions against offshore steel initiated by the government and brought to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal would likely carry a greater sense of urgency than those brought by industry, Mr. Galimberti said in an interview Monday.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is heading to Washington on Tuesday for two days of talks with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer as well as key congressional leaders.

When Trump announced last week 10 percent tariffs on aluminum and 25 percent on steel, he said Canada and Mexico could be exempted permanently if the ongoing renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is successful.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada already has "significant barriers" to prevent low-priced steel and aluminum from being dumped in this country, and is prepared to work with Washington.

"We will continue working toward securing a definite and permanent exemption from those tariffs", Trudeau said. "That is because the level of integration within our two markets is deep, complex and profitable to both of our countries".

Executives in the steel-processing sector describe the manner in which countries and importers get around tariffs as being akin to a sheet of paper.

China is Canada's second-largest trading partner after the United States.

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 tour was planned before the tariff exemption was confirmed but will still go ahead despite the exemption, with stops in Alma., Que, Hamilton, Ont., Sault Ste.