Trump, Trudeau disagree on steel tariffs' connection to NAFTA

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Atlantic Aviation in Moon Township Pa. Saturday

The president of the Canadian Steel Producers Association says Canada may be off the hook for now from American steel and aluminum tariffs but it is still at risk from a glut of foreign steel.

Justin Trudeau is telling steel workers in Sault Ste.

He said Canada would be alert to that and work with industry partners and the United States to make sure that doesn't happen.

Trudeau says Canada will not flinch in its support for workers and he hopes the threat of US tariffs can be solved in a friendly way.

Worldwide trade lawyer Larry Herman says Canada can do several things, including promising temporary surcharges under the Customs Tariffs Act on any country found to be dumping steel, as well as tightening up the system that issues permits for steel imports, which he says is more a formality than a check on the system at the moment.

Previously, trump said that the negotiations on NAFTA for him to play a special role, and if they fail, the duty may be imposed and for Canada and Mexico.

During his earlier visits to factories in Saguenay, Que., and Hamilton, Trudeau said the national security argument the US has made when it comes to considering tariffs makes no sense and could not apply to Canada.

The stop in the Queen City is part of Trudeau's nationwide tour visiting steel manufacturers.

He asked after their families and how they had been coping with the possibility of US tariffs that he had repeatedly said would have a devastating impact in Canada.

Following the roundtable, Trudeau headed to a second plant, this time Dofasco, for another tour.

Mexico and Canada should be ready to continue with a version of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) without the United States, the Mexican economy minister said on Thursday.

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.

"You have to be ready to live with a NAFTA without the U.S".

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