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Canada gained’t be ‘shocked’ by U.S. in NAFTA negotiations, Trudeau vows

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. — Canada gained’t be “shocked” on the NAFTA negotiating desk, Justin Trudeau promised Wednesday within the face of U.S. President Donald Trump’s ongoing push for a faster decision to the continued commerce talks.

The prime minister made the remark Wednesday whereas greeting steelworkers throughout an early-morning shift change outdoors a plant in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., a part of a three-day meet-and-greet tour of communities the place metal and aluminum manufacturing are main employers.

“We’re standing up for ourselves. However, we all know there’s a win-win-win we will get to,” Trudeau informed one worker on the Algoma metal facility.

“The problem (the USA) faces is that we’re there on the desk, we’re contributing however we’re not simply going to be shocked by them,” he added.

“We’re pushing again on some issues that we predict may not be the precise options, which is what individuals would anticipate from Canada.”

In a cellphone dialog with Trudeau earlier this week, Trump known as for the talks to wrap up promptly — an echo of his administration’s long-standing want to resolve the negotiations earlier than upcoming congressional elections within the U.S. later this 12 months and a Mexican presidential election July 1.

Talking at a sustainable enterprise discussion board Wednesday in Vancouver, Worldwide Commerce Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne stated the federal government has stood agency on the NAFTA desk and can proceed to take action.

“We’ve carried out that with Boeing. We’ve carried out that with softwood lumber. We’ll proceed. We’re constructive. We’ll all the time be on the desk,” Champagne stated. “We wish to modernize NAFTA, a NAFTA that could be a win-win-win state of affairs.”

Trudeau later traveled to Regina the place he toured the Evraz metal manufacturing unit and reassured employees within the break room of the federal authorities’s help for the trade.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, proper, excursions EVRAZ Regina, a metal firm in Regina, Saskatchewan on Wednesday, March 14, 2018. (Michael Bell/The Canadian Press)

Trump lately exempted Canada and Mexico from tariffs of 25 per cent on metal and 10 per cent on aluminum, though the U.S. authorities has been dropping hints that the exception is just momentary. Trump particularly has been linking Canada’s destiny on tariffs to the end result of the NAFTA negotiations.

“I’m actually pleased to be having the form of conversations we’re having this week as an alternative of the conversations we’d have had had the American determination gone otherwise final week,” Trudeau informed the employees. “I’m glad to have the ability to reassure you guys slightly bit.”

Regina was the ultimate cease on Trudeau’s tour of steel cities which started in Alma, Que., moved to Hamilton on Tuesday earlier than visiting Sault Ste. Marie Wednesday morning.

Trudeau credited the co-ordinated efforts of enterprise, labour and political leaders for securing an exemption for Canadian metal and aluminum from the latest menace of U.S. commerce duties.

“One of many actually robust issues about our strategy is that we’re all saying the identical sorts of issues from very, very totally different views,” he informed a roundtable of trade leaders in Sault Ste. Marie.

“It’s been an actual group effort and Canada has been united.”

Trudeau emphasised how the extent of integration between the American and Canadian metal industries means each economies would endure from commerce restrictions.

“We are able to see the bridge constructed with native metal right here that actually connects Canada to the USA,” he stated, gesturing out the window towards the overpass spanning the close by St. Marys River that separates the Canadian metropolis from its American namesake in Michigan.

“These are issues that I highlighted to the president.”

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Earlier within the day, Trudeau was taken on a tour of the Algoma facility. Carrying a white arduous hat, he watched from a raised walkway as a red-hot sheet of metal shot alongside rollers and was sprayed with water, sending a pointy hiss all through the plant.

Throughout his earlier visits to factories in Saguenay, Que., and Hamilton, Trudeau repeated his message that the nationwide safety argument the U.S. has made on the subject of tariffs is senseless and couldn’t apply to Canada.

Talking in Hamilton on Tuesday, Trudeau stated there are measures in place, together with tariffs and harder border controls, to forestall metal and aluminum producers in different international locations from utilizing Canada as a again door to slide low cost steel into the U.S..

Trudeau stated the excess of metal within the world market just isn’t new and with American tariffs in place, some international locations would possibly attempt to ship their merchandise to the U.S. by way of Canada.

He stated Canada can be alert to such eventualities and would work with trade companions and the U.S. to ensure that doesn’t occur.

With information from Ryan McKenna in Regina.

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