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PM Justin Trudeau to tour Evraz Steel
16 March 2018, 01:59 | Tara Lloyd
President Donald Trump holds up his proclamation on aluminum tariffs last week. Susan Walsh AP
President Donald Trump required Canada and Mexico to take steps to stop trans-shipments of foreign steel via their ports as one of the conditions for exempting them from the 25 per cent duty on steel and 10 per cent duty on aluminum that will apply to imports from every other country.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dispelled that notion in a phone call to the president on March 5, followed by numerous calls to business and congressional leaders including the heads of the both houses of Congress.
Trudeau, who is expected to travel to three other Canadian steel cities to reassure workers in the coming days, said Canada already has "significant barriers" in place to prevent low-cost steel and aluminum from being dumped there, and is prepared to work with Washington to "do even more".
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However, he said, Canada would be alert to that and work with industry partners and the Americans to make sure that didn't happen.
Trudeau says Canada will not flinch in its support for workers and he hopes the threat of USA tariffs can be solved in a friendly way.
U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum would be "very harmful" for industry and workers in both countries, he added.
Asked whether he trusted the president, Trudeau said Trump has always kept his word to him and has been consistent in doing what he said he would do. Marie is the latest stop on Trudeau's tour of metal towns and cities, which included Alma, Que., and Hamilton earlier this week, and will cap off with Regina later today. On Tuesday, he began his day by touring a Stelco plant in Hamilton, where he chatted with workers and stressed the importance of the industry.
"We're going to ensure that Canadian steel is Canadian steel", he said at Dofasco, where he also promised unspecified measures to better protect workers' pensions where companies go under, downsize substantially, or are otherwise bought out. The weekend before the announcement, Ottawa was getting word that Trump was heavily leaning toward including Canada, largely because of concerns steel from China was coming into the US from Canada. Marie, Ont., that it makes no sense for the U.S.to reverse its decision to exempt Canada from trade tariffs on steel and aluminum.
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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc . Trump's remarks on trade have unsettled financial markets, often causing the Mexico's peso currency to shed value.
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