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PM Trudeau shows support for steel workers, says Canada protecting industry

15 March 2018

Trump is not a NAFTA fan.

The Sault Star will have full coverage, including Elaine Della-Mattia's one-on-one interview with Trudeau.

"As a politician, I fully understand that this may be a priority to be very close to the workers and very close to the different people in the steel industry and in aluminum than to organize a contact during a state visit".

The U.S. government has been dropping hints that the decision to excuse Canada and Mexico from tariffs on steel and aluminum might only be temporary, and somehow dependent on the result of trade negotiations.

Trudeau has stepped up his government's pro-militarist and anti-China rhetoric this week as he conducts a tour of steel and aluminum plants in Quebec, Ontario and Saskatchewan aimed at posturing as a defender of "Canadian jobs". However, Conservative foreign affairs critic Erin O'Toole urged the Trudeau government to go even further, declaring that Canada has to align its interests even more closely with the United States in order to retain the bilateral strategic partnership.

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"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", Trump said.

Trudeau credited the co-ordinated efforts of business, labour and political leaders for securing an exemption for Canadian steel and aluminum from the recent threat of USA trade duties. He temporarily exempted big steel producers Canada and Mexico - provided they agree to renegotiate a North American trade deal to his satisfaction.

Canadian negotiators are weighing the interests of the relatively small sector, responsible for about 22,000 direct Canadian jobs and $C9.0 billion ($F14b) in USA exports, against those of bigger industries like auto manufacturing and politically influential groups like dairy farmers.

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

Trudeau, Freeland and other government officials have boasted that securing the tariff exemption required a "Team Canada" effort.

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"These are things that I highlighted to the president". Marie, while rolls of coiled steel radiated heat behind him.

"The U.S. hadn't always thought through exactly what they wanted".

"We are alert to that, we are working with partners in industry, with our American partners, to ensure that does not happen", Trudeau said of so-called transshipment.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told steel and aluminum workers that he "had their backs" as he fought against proposed tariffs by U.S. President Donald Trump.

"(We're) highlighting that the imposition of tariffs on Canada would end up hurting the USA nearly as much as it would hurt Canada".

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- With files from Ryan McKenna in Regina.

PM Trudeau shows support for steel workers, says Canada protecting industry