PM Justin Trudeau to tour Evraz Steel

Canada Won't Be Pressured By The US In NAFTA Negotiations: Chrystia Freeland

Canada Won't Be Pressured By The US In NAFTA Negotiations: Chrystia Freeland

Justin Trudeau is telling steel workers in Sault Ste.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau extolled the virtues of Canada's steel industry in a visit Tuesday to Hamilton, saying robust measures are in place to protect producers in the country.

A temporary exemption from US tariffs is little comfort to the Canadian steel city of Hamilton, coping with months of uncertainty as US President Donald Trump has threatened a potentially devastating 25 per cent duty unless the North American Free Trade Agreement is renegotiated. Marie, Ont., that it makes no sense for the reverse its decision to exempt Canada from trade tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Initially billed as a response to US tariffs announced by President Donald Trump, Trudeau has since used the appearances to promise workers that the federal government will back them up.

"I told the president that imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum does not help with regard to NAFTA", Trudeau said.

In a phone conversation with Trudeau earlier this week, Trump called for the talks to wrap up promptly - an echo of his administration's long-standing desire to resolve the negotiations before upcoming congressional elections in the US later this year and a Mexican presidential election July 1.

The prime minister says restricting Canadian steel imports would hurt the American economy.

"The challenge they face is that we're there at the table, we're contributing, but we're not just going to be bowled over by them", Trudeau added. "We had your backs last week and we always will".

Trudeau also expressed optimism about reaching a good North American free-trade agreement that will benefit Canada as well as the USA and Mexico - despite Trump's constant refrain that the current deal is a bad one.

"The exemption represented a positive step in the right direction but we still have a lot more work to do", Trudeau told the room full of aluminum workers.

28% of the volume of steel from Dofasco is exported to the United States, which would mean large impacts on the company if the tariffs are imposed.

From there, he'll head to the Turvey Centre to meet with industry leaders in a roundtable discussion.

"There's no victor in any trade war", Didier Leroy, executive vice president at Toyota, said after Trump tweeted over the weekend that European cars "freely pour" into the U.S.

Reynders said the unfolding tariff spat, which still threatens European industries, is a reminder of the importance of diversifying relations with countries, including Canada, where governments are more open to co-operative trade.