U.S. tariffs raise risk Canada will fall prey to foreign steel dumping

Federal government urged to take action on dumped steel and aluminum

Mr. Trudeau spoke by telephone with Mr. Trump on Monday to thank him for the "special consideration extended to Canada" while stressing that the steel and aluminum industries are critical to jobs on both sides of the border, his office said in a statement.

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-priced steel and aluminum from being dumped there, and is prepared to work with Washington to "do even more".

The steel tariff threat was seen by many to be an attempt by the Trump administration to pressure Canada and Mexico to complete the NAFTA talks - giving in to other US demands or giving up some of their own -rather than risk the punishing steel and aluminum duties.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is heading to Canadian steel country this week on a three-day tour created to shore up the industry.

Joseph Galimberti says Canada has to work very quickly to identify possible attempts to circumvent the USA tariffs by sneaking steel in through Canada and must be prepared to act to stop this.

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

Freeland said it was absurd to consider Canadian steel a national security threat and that "as far as Canada is concerned there is absolutely no connection" between the national security reasons cited for the steel tariffs and NAFTA.

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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 rejected calls by some Quebec union leaders to take a harder line in NAFTA talks and leave the table if Canada can not get a better deal.

He said he and Trump also "welcomed and encouraged the progress‎ being made on negotiation of the renewed North American Free Trade Agreement" and discussed an opioid crisis affecting both nations. "That is because the level of integration within our two markets is deep, complex and profitable to both of our countries".

Trump signed the proclamation on those tariffs last week and the exemption given Canada was a last-minute victory for the Canadian government.

China is Canada's second-largest trading partner after the United States.

The Prime Minister told aluminum plant workers in Saguenay, Quebec, he will always have their backs when it comes to fighting USA tariffs. He was to also visit three Canadian steel cities this week to reassure workers. Justin Trudeau is touring aluminum and steel factories to show support for the industries.

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