Justin Trudeau visiting Hamilton to support steel workers

Justin Trudeau said at Arcelor Mittal Dofasco that he's confident Canada can reach a NAFTA deal with the U.S

ArcelorMittal Dofasco CEO Sean Donnelly gives Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a tour of the ArcelorMittal Dofasco steel plant with in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, March 13, 2018. On Monday, Trudeau called Trump to stress the need to preserve the "mutually beneficial" cross border supply chains.

What he heard directly from the president echoed public remarks from Trump's administration: the USA trade czar recently said he wants a new NAFTA concluded within weeks, because of upcoming elections in the different countries.

Today, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is in Washington for a series of meetings to push our message on tariffs and NAFTA.

"There is no national security argument to be made against Canada", Trudeau said. Canadian steel is in your tanks.

In the call with Trudeau, Trump "emphasised the importance of quickly concluding the ongoing Nafta negotiations", the White House said. Mexico is also a member nation of the trade deal.

The Trump administration has set tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum, applicable to every country except Canada and Mexico.

The prime minister said Canada has already implemented measures to stop transshipment, such as increased customs screening. He is scheduled to tour steel mills in Hamilton, Sault Ste.

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"We are very concerned about the actions taken by China and the dumping of steel and aluminium on the global market", Trudeau said.

He said the government needs to monitor steel imports more closely so that if shipment volumes are rising, it can react quickly to stop Canada from becoming a dumping ground into the US market.

Canada, the top supplier of steel and aluminum to the USA market, and Mexico have been temporarily exempted from the tariffs until trilateral continental trade talks conclude. He will follow that up by speaking to steel industry leaders at the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel during a round table discussion.

Mr. Trudeau said his government is working hard to ensure that the exemptions stay in place and took issue with the U.S. President's decision to use the tariffs as a bargaining chip.

Trudeau said Canada already has "significant barriers" in place to prevent low-priced steel and aluminum from being dumped there, and is prepared to work with Washington to "do even more".

Brazil, which is the second biggest supplier of steel to the United States after Canada, remains open for a dialogue to reach an understanding with the United States and is talking to other countries to learn about measures they are considering, he said.

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