PM Trudeau visiting Hamilton, Ont. to show support for steel workers

PM Trudeau visiting Hamilton, Ont. to show support for steel workers

"But I should stress that overcapacity of the steel industry is a global issue and can not be resolved by any single party alone", Lu told a regular press briefing.

Trump recently exempted Canada and Mexico from tariffs on steel and aluminum, although the USA government has been dropping hints that the exception is only temporary.

Mr. Trudeau and members of his cabinet have insisted that the two issues are not linked and that extending the tariffs to steel and aluminum imported from Canada would harm the USA economy.

However, he said, Canada would be alert to that and work with industry partners and the Americans to make sure that didn't happen.

However, they expect any talks about a possible permanent exemption to take place outside of the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations. Marie, Ont., part of a three-day meet-and-greet tour of communities where steel and aluminum manufacturing are major employers.

In a phone call from the smelter town, Trudeau thanked Trump for the "special consideration" extended to Canada on the tariffs, and emphasized the importance of preserving "mutually beneficial" supply chains to support jobs and businesses on both sides of the border, his office said.

"We have a whole suite of tariffs and countervailing duties that are at our disposal to move forward and ensure that we are not accepting in unfairly-produced or sold steel into Canada", Trudeau said.

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. "Canada produces some of the cleanest steel and aluminum in the world thanks to our focus on new technology and cleaner sources of energy".

Trudeau says he's been telling U.S. President Donald Trump for over a year that there is no national security threat from Canadian steel or aluminum.

The president has since said that Canada will be exempt from the tariffs, but has also hinted that the reprieve may only be temporary.

China on Tuesday dismissed Canadian accusations that it was flooding global markets with cheap steel, saying overcapacity in the industry was an worldwide problem.

"The U.S. hadn't always thought through exactly what they wanted".

But Trudeau told a U.S. TV audience he sees them as separate issues: "We don't link together the tariffs and the negotiations with NAFTA", he told CNBC in an interview Monday from a Quebec aluminum plant, where he toured the facility and promised to continue standing up for the industry.

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