Canada: Trump speaks to Trudeau over phone, stresses on fast NAFTA deal

Trudeau Hamilton 20180313

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Trudeau, who kicked off a four-city tour of cities March 12 that rely on aluminum and steel industries for their economies, will tour the Stelco Hamilton Works then meet with steelworkers in the morning.

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.

Measures that have been put in place, he said, include tougher border controls to ensure proper monitoring of incoming products. In Trudeau's view, the USA wasn't just helping Canada - it helped itself by refraining from slapping tariffs on its No. 1 supplier of both steel and aluminum.

"How will that impact the Canadian steel industry?"

The Trump administration has set tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum, applicable to every country except Canada and Mexico.

ArcelorMittal Dofasco president Sean Donnelly said the industry is also anxious about Canada becoming a back door.

Canada, the top supplier of steel and aluminium to the United States market, has been temporarily exempted from the tariffs, along with Mexico.

More news: Hard Brexit bill: €65bn for United Kingdom and EU27 firms

He said he began talking about steel with Trump at the G7 summit in Sicily previous year, when he was emphatic that Canada poses no national security threat to the U.S.

The steel tariff investigation was launched to see the impact of steel imports on USA national security.

"On the national security side, we have always been incredibly integrated".

Asked whether he trusted the president, Trudeau said Trump has always kept his word to him and has been consistent in doing what he said he would do.

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 US administration.

He spoke to teporters and a group of ArcelorMittal Dofasco employees after touring one of the steel maker's steel galvanizing mills in Hamilton.

"We're going to ensure that Canadian steel is Canadian steel", he said at Dofasco, where he also promised unspecified measures to better protect workers' pensions where companies go under, downsize substantially, or are otherwise bought out.

In the call with Trudeau, Trump "emphasised the importance of quickly concluding the ongoing Nafta negotiations", the White House said. Marie and Regina, was held after United States President Donald Trump threatened Canada and Mexico with tariffs on steel and aluminum.

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