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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau back in Regina to talk steel

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau back in Regina to talk steel

Speaking in Hamilton on Tuesday, Trudeau said there are measures in place, including tariffs and tougher border controls, to prevent steel and aluminum producers in other countries from using Canada as a back door to slip cheap metal into the U.S.

Trudeau, whenever cross-examined from AMERICA multimedia, rejected the suggestion that Canada will have paid the U.S. to get omitted from the steel & aluminum tax obligation, and made it quite clear that the NAFTA agreements are not associated with those taxes.

The White House said Trump emphasized on that call "the importance of quickly concluding the ongoing NAFTA negotiation" while Trudeau said he warned that slapping tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum would only serve to harm the NAFTA talks and would run counter to Trumps stated goals of saving American jobs and lifting the USA economy.

Canada is the largest foreign supplier of steel and aluminum to the U.S.

But Trudeau told CNBC, "We don't link together the tariffs and the negotiations for NAFTA, but we're happy to continue to move forward on the negotiations".

United Steelworkers Local 8782 President Bill Ferguson says Trudeau was well-informed on the steel file, understanding all the issues causing concern to local labour. "Meanwhile, in Ottawa, the Trudeau Liberals would face searing questions about what went wrong", Aaron Hutchins of Macleans writes. "We'll always be at the table", Champagne said.

The Trump administration is calling on Ottawa to ensure Canada is not used by Chinese and other overseas steel and aluminum producers as a "back door" to the U.S., and Ottawa has been quick to signal that it is more than ready to comply and otherwise help Washington in fighting its trade rivals.

"The exemption represented a positive step in the right direction but we still have a lot more work to do", Trudeau told the room full of aluminum workers.

Both countries are also exempt for the time being on a proposed 10 per cent tariff on aluminium exports to the States.

Earlier in the day several politicians joined the Prime Minster at a roundtable discussion where Trudeau listened to industry leaders and union representatives.

As the United States tries to light a fire under NAFTA negotiations, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says Canada will not be bullied or pressured by the United States as part of those talks.

"With the US out of NAFTA, experts say, prices on everything from cars to groceries are expected to climb".

Later this week Trudeau is due to visit the steel town of Hamilton, where workers are on edge.