Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Trump Trade War - Remarks by Canada Prime Minister

Canada's Justin Trudeau says NAFTA talks broke down after Pence made ultimatum Trump takes aim at Canada after Trudeau's retaliation over new US tariffs
Jay Anderson | 07 June, 2018, 15:02

His Tweet came in the same week the US said it will no longer exempt major allies, including Canada, Mexico and the European Union, from another major tariff - 25% on imported steel and 10% on imported aluminum steel - it announced past year.

Joseph Galimberti, the president of the Canadian Steel Producers Association, says he urged the government in a cabinet meeting today to immediately impose the retaliatory tariffs on metals while it consults on other products.

In order to persuade Donald Trump to eventually drop his punishing steel and aluminum tariffs and finally agree to a renegotiated NAFTA, Canada's strategy is to somehow engineer a way for the USA president to claim a political victory by doing just that.

Taking to Twitter, Trump said Washington D.C. was having a trade deficit of nearly United States dollars 800 billion.

He has also threatened tariffs on up to $150 billion in Chinese products to punish Beijing for pressuring USA companies to turn over technology in exchange for access to the Chinese market.

President Donald Trump says the days of the USA being taken advantage of in trade deals "are over" in a harshly worded statement responding to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's criticism of new steel and aluminum tariffs.

Sometimes, the USA will impose additional duties on foreign imports that it determines are being sold at unfairly low prices or are being supported by foreign government subsidies.

Trudeau, who took office in 2015, is expected to press his case directly with Trump next weekend when Canada hosts the annual Group of Seven summit, which brings together leaders of the world's largest economies, in Quebec.

The European Union and China said they will deepen ties on trade and investment as a result.

Trudeau said he'd refused to go because of the "totally unacceptable" precondition.

"The Trump administration announced on Thursday that it will impose steel and aluminum tariffs on the EU, Mexico and Canada after a temporary exemption expired on 1 June".




Trump's trade policies - and specifically the steel and aluminum tariffs - have drawn worldwide denunciation.

Trudeau said Trump seemed agreeable before Pence called him on Tuesday.

Canada had dug in on the dairy issue in the face of US demands, calling it a non-starter.

There could be opportunities for a bump in sales for Canadian substitutes for these USA products, said Mike Von Massow, associate professor in the food, agricultural and resource economics department at the University of Guelph.

The White House on Sunday pushed back against the notion that Trump's trade moves were unfair or irreversible.

"I had to highlight there was no possibility of any Canadian prime minister signing a NAFTA deal that included a five-year sunset clause and obviously the visit didn't happen", Trudeau said. He said Trudeau was "overreacting" to the new tariffs.

"I don't think we're satisfied yet that they will protect or uphold all the shipments of steel coming into Canada from around the world. this transshipping effort is something that has been troubling to us", Kudlow said.

"I think there was a comment out there that (this was) the G6 plus one".

But House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., one of Trump's top allies on Capitol Hill, downplayed the stakes of the latest developments. He also denied the confrontation could be considered a trade war at this juncture.

"It's very complicated", says John Brew, a trade lawyer at Crowell & Moring LLP.

"We are in a trade discussion to renegotiate NAFTA".

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