Trump stresses desire for quick NAFTA deal in phone chat with Trudeau


Trudeau said the national security argument the US has made when it comes to considering tariffs for Canadian steel and aluminum makes no sense - a refrain he's hammered in recent weeks.

Trump also emphasized the importance of quickly concluding ongoing negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)"to ensure the vitality of United States and North American manufacturing industries and to protect the economic and national security of the United States", the White House said in a statement.

Today, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is in Washington for a series of meetings to push our message on tariffs and NAFTA. He was to also visit three Canadian steel cities this week to reassure workers.

Trump created the tariffs with the claims that they were part of a security issue but Trudeau pointed out to the host that the USA military needs Canadian steel.

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Joseph Galimberti says Canada has to work very quickly to identify possible attempts to circumvent the US tariffs by sneaking steel in through Canada and it must be prepared to initiate actions to stop it.

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.

Trudeau says he has already spoken with President Donald Trump about foreign steel dumping and is willing to take further action, if necessary, to protect our industry.

It was their first conversation since Trump last week imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, raising trade tensions.

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Mr. Trudeau and members of his cabinet have insisted that the two issues are not linked and that extending the tariffs to steel and aluminum imported from Canada would harm the USA economy. "We have a whole suite of tariff and countervailing duties that are at our disposal to move forward and ensure that we are not accepting in unfairly produced or sold steel".

On the subject of national-security tariffs, Trudeau told CNN: "Canadian aluminum is in your fighter jets". The Canadian aluminum industry?

Trudeau's view has prominent support: A poll of leading economists from the University of Chicago has found rare unanimity on the topic, with a newly released survey Monday showing that zero per cent of economists surveyed believe tariffs will help Americans.

Trudeau is now on a tour of Canadian steel towns to show his support to workers in the industry. While the penalties take effect later this month, Trump has encouraged countries to try negotiating exemptions for themselves.

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