Canada will not be back door to cheap offshore steel, Trudeau reiterates

Canada will not be back door to cheap offshore steel, Trudeau reiterates

NAFTA talks might now enter an intense phase: "President Trump emphasized the importance of quickly concluding the ongoing NAFTA negotiations", said a readout from the White House on Monday's call with Trudeau.

Trump backed off the threat last week, but indicated he could still link any potential tariffs, which could be as high as 25 per cent on Canadian steel and 10 per cent on aluminum, to renegotiating a better deal under the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada.

His cross-country tour, with stops in Quebec, Sault Ste.

U.S. President Donald Trump greets Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., October 11, 2017. Marie, Ont., and Regina.

He noted that the integration of the Canadian and U.S. economies is particularly evident in the steel sector where $12-billion worth of the metal crosses the Canada-U.S. border annually.

"How will that impact the Canadian steel industry?" Canadian aluminum is in your fighter jets.

The tariffs Donald Trump unveiled last week could prompt steel to be shipped instead through Canada to skirt the levies, Trudeau said Tuesday at an ArcelorMittal Dofasco plant in Hamilton, Ontario.

Trudeau told another USA network that he sees them as separate issues: "We don't link together the tariffs and the negotiations with NAFTA", he told CNBC in an interview from a Quebec aluminum plant Monday.

"(We're) highlighting that the imposition of tariffs on Canada would end up hurting the USA nearly as much as it would hurt Canada".

Trump created the tariffs with the claims that they were part of a security issue but Trudeau pointed out to the host that the US military needs Canadian steel.

But the US government also wants to make sure cheap steel being dumped into North America by Brazil, South Korea, China and other countries doesn't enter the United States through a Canadian back door. Will that create a privileged access for us in the U.S. market?

Trudeau accused China of flooding global markets with cheap steel on Monday, saying Canada has already taken steps to prevent "dumping".

Gary Howe, president of local 1005 of the United Steelworkers union, said his members who work at Stelco Holdings Inc. are taking the tariff issue in stride, having lived through the cutbacks and job cuts generated by two trips through protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act since 2004.

Trudeau is now on a tour of Canadian steel towns to show his support to workers in the industry.

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