Friday, 22 June, 2018


Prime Minister Trudeau to visit Hamilton steel mill

AFP  Getty Images Open this
Bennie Garza | 14 March, 2018, 01:07

The prime minister is touring aluminum and steel production facilities, pledging support for workers after the US president exempted Canada and Mexico from the protectionist measures.

"We are too. So we're glad to do it".

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the national security argument the U.S.is making when it comes to considering tariffs for Canadian steel and aluminum makes no sense.

His Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland, will be in Washington on Tuesday and Thursday to "advance Canada's efforts to keep trade open, fair and barrier-free, to benefit people on both sides of the border", her ministry said in a statement.

This form of processing allows it to be stamped "made in Canada" and could avoid the US tariff, which is why the federal enforcement officials will need to identify the country of origin of the original steel, said one industry executive who asked that his name not be used because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

The prime minister was touring an aluminium smelter in Alma, Quebec.

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

A senior government official told The Globe and Mail on Monday that Ottawa is consulting widely with industry executives on the best measures to combat an expected flood of offshore steel and aluminum.

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

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

Trudeau told another USA network that 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. In Trudeau's view, the USA wasn't just helping Canada - it helped itself by refraining from slapping tariffs on its No. 1 supplier of both steel and aluminum.

He will also visit Sault Ste. Marie and Regina this week. While the penalties take effect later this month, Trump has encouraged countries to try negotiating exemptions for themselves.

A spokesman said Trudeau plans to tour regions of the country that are heavily reliant on the steel and aluminum industries, in the face of stiff tariffs being threatened by the United States.

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