Trudeau says tariff threat won't pressure Canada at NAFTA negotiating table

The U.S. government has been dropping hints that the decision to excuse Canada and Mexico from tariffs on steel and aluminum might only be temporary, and somehow dependent on the result of trade negotiations.

"That was significant and we were glad to see that", she said.

US tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum would be "very harmful" for industry and workers in both countries, he added.

The American administration has expressed a desire to get a NAFTA deal in a hurry and some prominent members have been suggesting that the threat of steel and aluminum tariffs might prod the negotiations along.

Trudeau called his American counterpart during a tour of aluminum facilities in Quebec, on a day the prime minister did American television interviews to promote the integrated Canada-U.S. economy.

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

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is brushing off the idea that Canada might be coerced into making concessions at the NAFTA negotiating table under the pressure of tariff threats from the United States. Mexican federal elections scheduled for July 1 and US congressional elections in the fall are adding pressure, as changes of government as a result of either could affect both getting a deal and getting it ratified. 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.

"We recognize that the American side is eager to get forward motion on NAFTA", Trudeau told CNN's Anderson Cooper, in one of his USA interviews.

"I look forward to hearing directly from workers about how we can work together to address these issues and help our steel and aluminum industries grow and succeed". 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.

Trump signed an order last Thursday to slap a 25 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent tariff on aluminum with exemptions for Canada and Mexico.

Well before Trump's announcement last week, the White House had signaled that Mexico and Canada could be left off the list of countries targeted for punishment, and Mexican negotiators were already wary of the fine print.

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.

"But I accept what the president said", Trudeau added, "that as long as there is a free-trade deal in North America there won't be tariffs".

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