Canada PM says Trump's metal tariffs are insulting

Canada Trudeau Fundraiser

The Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau said he would work with canadian steel companies and manufacturers of aluminium affected by the input of us customs duties to keep the old number of jobs in this industry.

"I stated that I thought we were quite close to reaching an agreement, and perhaps the time had come for me to sit down with the president in Washington in order to finalize the NAFTA agreement", Trudeau said in French.

Late last week, Canadian government insiders said any hope of a quick deal on a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement was wrecked by Trump's decision to end Canada and Mexico's exemption from the steel and aluminum tariffs.

"If the US rolls out trade measures including tariffs, all the agreements reached in the negotiations won't take effect", state-run Xinhua News Agency reported Sunday, citing a statement from the Chinese team that met with a USA delegation led by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Canada and Mexico, which are embroiled in talks with the United States to update the North American Free Trade Agreement, responded to the move by announcing levies of their own on a variety of USA exports.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hit back at the Trump administration's tariffs on steel and aluminum imports during an interview with NBC that aired Sunday, June 3, 2018.

"We still have a few days to take the necessary steps to avoid a trade war between the European Union and the United States, and to avoid a trade war among G7 members", declared French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire following a meeting of top officials from the economic bloc-which includes the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the U.K. -held in the Canadian resort ski town of Whistler over the weekend.

Mr. Trump justified it as necessary to ensure American "national security" because restricting these imports under Section 232 of the U.S. Trade Expansion Act would expand the United States' own capacity to construct its own tanks and warships.

"We're aware that we have to work collectively and collaboratively with the United States, and that has been my point with the president since the very beginning".

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"I don't think our tariffs are anything to do with our friendship and longstanding alliance with Canada", Kudlow said on "Fox News Sunday".

While there may be Canadian-made alternatives, these tariffs will "inflict pain" on domestic firms as some inputs or unique products can not easily be switched or replaced, said Dan Kelly, the chief executive of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

Trump has made no secret of his overriding concern about USA trade imbalances, viewing them as a sign of American weakness around the globe.

With the trade dispute triggering one of the biggest crises in the G-7 since the group's formation in the 1970s, frictions are poised to spill over into next week's meetings in Charlevoix, Quebec, that Trump will attend. The U.S. sells $2-billion more worth of steel on an annual basis to Canada than it buys from Canadian suppliers. "We want to avoid a trade war", he said.

The Business Roundtable wrote in a blog post on Thursday that "these tariffs and increased costs have already caused harm to US businesses and workers", pointing to companies that have said the tariffs could force them to lay off employees to offset higher costs.

Mr Le Maire said it is up to the United States to take action to rebuild confidence among G7 members and to avoid any escalation during the leaders' summit next week. He exempted Canada, Mexico and the European Union pending additional talks to ease USA concerns.

Trudeau said he refused to go because of the "totally unacceptable" precondition. "So it's not like trade is imbalanced against the United States favour on us".

The European Union is also planning a tariff counter strike and filed a request on Friday for consultations with the World Trade Organisation.

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