Trump, Trudeau disagree on steel tariffs' connection to NAFTA
Trump, Trudeau disagree on steel tariffs' connection to NAFTA
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar shows off his colorful socks to Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau. Rex Shutterstock
14 March, 2018, 14:13
Donnelly also said the Canadian government must put resources in place to ensure that cheap steel is not diverted into Canada after Trump last week chose to impose a 25 percent tariffs on steel imports.
Canada is the largest foreign supplier of steel and aluminum to the U.S.
"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. The statement on the call said Trump had emphasized "quickly concluding" the NAFTA negotiations. "This episode has not changed our NAFTA negotiation position". "We are, too. So we're glad to do it".
Trump has railed against major global trading partners, most recently by imposing a tariff on steel and aluminum exports, but granted an exemption to Canada and Mexico as the three countries approach a reorganization of NAFTA, the trade agreement Trump has threatened to tear up.
Canada, the top supplier of steel and aluminum to the United States market, and Mexico have been temporarily exempted from the tariffs until trilateral continental trade talks conclude.
However Trump specifically mentioned NAFTA in his press conference announcing the exemptions on March 8. "We have a whole suite of tariff and countervailing duties that are at our disposal to move forward and ensure that we are not accepting in unfairly produced or sold steel". "We know that the collaboration on NORAD, the collaboration on national security issues narrow and broadly is something that is really important to both of our countries".
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The Americans want a new deal between the three NAFTA signatories, Mexico is the other partner, by spring, long before USA congressional elections in the fall.
RONALDO SCHEMIDT via Getty Images Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, Mexican Economy Minister Idelfonso Guajardo and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer give a message to the media during the seventh round of NAFTA negotiations on March 5, 2018. Canada and Mexico are both indicating a willingness to step up the pace of the talks but not at the expense of getting a good deal for all. From there, she may travel to Washington, D.C.to continue NAFTA talks although her spokesman would only say her schedule is still being finalized.
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