Canada seeks exemption to Trump’s steel tariffs, vows retaliation
Canada is seeking an exemption to new U.S. trade restrictions on aluminum and steel, and is vowing to retaliate if it’s slapped with any new tariffs.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the proposal “absolutely unacceptable,” echoing the phrase used by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland yesterday.
A government official, speaking on background, said Canada believes any new tariffs should not apply to this country due to the highly integrated nature of the North American steel market, and because of the close co-operation between the two countries on defence issues.
A final decision from U.S. President Donald Trump is expected next week. Meanwhile, the Canadian government is discussing what its next steps will be if Washington doesn’t order an exemption. For now, officials continue to make Canada’s case at every possible level, the official said.
Speaking at a post-budget event in Barrie, Ont., Trudeau said he has raised the issue with Trump directly several times in the past, but did not say if he had reached out since yesterday’s announcement.
He warned of a “significant disruption” in the supply chain and said new tariffs would harm U.S. industry just as much as Canada’s steel sector.
“We will continue to engage with all levels of the American administration in the coming days so that they understand that this proposal is unacceptable,” he said.
In 2017, the U.S. imported 26.9 million tonnes of steel, with 16 per cent of it coming from Canada. (Source: CBC News)