Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Markets | By Rosalie Gross

Canada's Justin Trudeau accuses China of 'dumping' steel on global markets

"If national security is that Mexico sends steel, or Canada sends steel, two of the [U.S.] great allies, then I don't know what national security has to do with this", Solis said at a news conference before Trump's decision to exclude Mexico.

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 negotiating right now NAFTA and we're going to hold off the tariff on those two countries to see whether or not we're able to make the deal on NAFTA", he said.

Freeland said it was absurd to consider Canadian steel a national security threat and that "as far as Canada is concerned there is absolutely no connection" between the national security reasons cited for the steel tariffs and NAFTA.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada already has "significant barriers" to prevent low-priced steel and aluminum from being dumped in this country, and is prepared to work with Washington.

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. 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. Trump did say he expected both Canada and Mexico to take action to prevent other countries from sneaking steel into the sending them to Canada or Mexico first.

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"I told the president that imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum does not help with regard to NAFTA..."

Other stops will include Hamilton, Sault Ste.

Trudeau also said it was in part due to the hard work of Canadian officials that Trump exempted Canada from the tariffs last week. Marie, Ont., and Regina, Sask. While the penalties take effect later this month, Trump has encouraged countries to try negotiating exemptions for themselves.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard spoke to reporters alongside Trudeau and said he wouldn't accept any undue pressure on the province's dairy farmers as a potential compromise in the steel and aluminum conflict.

Canada is the largest market for the United States, with 283 billion US dollars worth of goods exported to Canada in 2017. Quebec has a supply management system regarding dairy, poultry and eggs, which imposes steep tariffs on those products entering the country.

Following the close of the seventh round of negotiations last week in Mexico, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the U.S. wants to get a deal done in the next four to six weeks.

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