Trudeau bids to reassure aluminum workers about USA tariffs

Trudeau bids to reassure aluminum workers about USA tariffs

From an aluminium smelter, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called US President Donald Trump on Monday to press for a permanent exclusion from US tariffs on aluminium and steel.

There is genuine concern among aluminum workers that that an exemption from a "Trump tariff" - an export fee - will be reversed. Quebec is a huge stakeholder, which is why the Prime Minister is visiting.

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. Mexico is also a member nation of the trade deal.

The only countries temporarily exempted are Canada, Mexico and Australia so far.

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.

Previously, trump said that the negotiations on NAFTA for him to play a special role, and if they fail, the duty may be imposed and for Canada and Mexico.

"We recognize that the American side is eager to get motion forward on NAFTA", he said. "To impose tariffs that would hurt workers on both sides of the border - it's not like that that we'll negotiate a better NAFTA deal". New tariffs dominate a busy news cycle.

The Canadian government has vowed to retaliate if duties are imposed, but the prime minister did not answer directly when asked what measures it might take.

The Canadian prime minister also said during the interview that U.S. exemptions to tariffs were not a "magical favor being done".

"Additionally, although Canada and Mexico are now exempt from the tariff order, we are concerned that other trading partners will retaliate by imposing tariffs on USA exports and/or USA companies would experience limited access to other exports markets", Mr. Hanvey wrote.

The media drumbeat of condemnation of the tariffs on steel and aluminum announced by President Trump on Tuesday continued over the weekend as world leaders publicly denounced the policy.

In a statement earlier in the day, Trudeau said he would seek advice from the country's steel and aluminum workers on ways to address overcapacity in the North American and global markets.

"We'll just respond the way we have, with focus on the work we do together and not too much worry about the rhetoric", he said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is heading to Canadian steel country this week on a three-day tour created to shore up the industry.

"You know when it starts but not how it will turn out" when countries engage in mutual retaliation, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo said in remarks to reporters after a meeting with Brazilian President Michel Temer.

But as much as the steel industry has shrunk over the years, the USA still produces millions of tons of it each year, Lardy says. "This process of tit-for-tat can induce at times trade wars that are in no one's interests", Azevedo said.

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