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Trump stresses desire for quick NAFTA deal in phone chat with Trudeau

Trump stresses desire for quick NAFTA deal in phone chat with Trudeau

Canada, the top supplier of steel and aluminium to the U.S. market, has been temporarily exempted from the tariffs, along with Mexico.

"(That would) ensure the vitality of United States and North American manufacturing industries and. protect the economic and national security of the United States".

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

Canadian steel facilities can't compete fairly against countries that choose "to sell at a loss in order to control the market", he said.

Trudeau said the surplus of steel in the global market is not new and with American tariffs in place, some countries might try to ship to the US through Canada.

Trump recently exempted Canada and Mexico from tariffs on steel and aluminum, although the USA government has been dropping hints that the exception is only temporary. "We will continue working toward securing a definite and permanent exemption from those tariffs", Trudeau said earlier.

Later, at a roundtable with industry leaders, he spoke again of the importance of steel to Hamilton, saying he was there to listen.

"(We're) highlighting that the imposition of tariffs on Canada would end up hurting the USA nearly as much as it would hurt Canada".




He said he and Trump also "welcomed and encouraged the progress being made on negotiation of the renewed North American Free Trade Agreement" and discussed an opioid crisis affecting both nations.

Brazil has said it will seek exemption from the newly imposed tariffs.

"Our aluminum is in their fighter jets ‎our steel. goes into their armoured vehicles", he said.

"We are very concerned about the actions taken by China and the dumping of steel and aluminium on the global market", Trudeau said.

Herman says Canada can use the Customs Tariff Act to apply temporary surcharges on steel imports from countries caught trying to do this, as well as tightening up the system that issues permits for any steel imports which he says is more a formality than a check on the system at the moment. So that whole issue of national security is off the table.

Canada is the United States' largest foreign provider of steel and aluminum, with about 85 per cent of Canadian exports being directed to that country.

What Trudeau will find here in Hamilton is that steelworkers have a lot of questions and are counting on the Prime Minister to come up with a solid plan to help with the uncertainty of the steel industry.