Trudeau Confident About Canada's Position Over US Tariff Threat

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Canada and Mexico have both been exempted from the provisions during negotiations on the revision of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in order to pressure the two countries into bowing to USA demands.

Newly enacted USA tariffs on aluminum and steel imports have sparked a sharp reaction from across the globe, with several nations warning of an all-out trade war. He suggested Australia and "other countries" might also be spared, a shift that could soften the worldwide blow amid threats of retaliation by trading partners.

After a almost year-long investigation, President Trump took action on Thursday to curb steel and aluminum imports.

Next week, Trudeau will tour regions of Canada that are heavily reliant on the steel and aluminum industries in a show of solidarity for those who would be hurt most by stiff USA tariffs.

His move, an assertive step for his "America First" agenda, has rattled allies across the globe and raised questions at home about whether protectionism will impede USA economic growth.

Trump said no new taxes would be placed on products made in the U.S.

In fact, the legal precept used for the tariffs to go around World Trade Organization (WTO) rules was produced with reference to an alleged national security threat posed by the foreign production of US steel and aluminum needs.

"He may be a globalist, but I still like him", Mr. Trump said. But he also said the penalties could "go up or down" depending on the country. "I just want fairness".

There's still a chance the tariffs won't be imposed or get watered down with exclusions for US allies.

But there was political criticism aplenty, especially from Trump's own Republican Party. Whether he's too stubborn to admit error or actually believes his statement that trade wars are "easy to win", Trump seems determined to encourage retaliation.

Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of IL said Trump's action was "like dropping a bomb on a flea".

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He said he disagreed with the action, fearing its "unintended consequences".

"We're going to be very fair, we're going to be very flexible but we're going to protect the American worker as I said I would do in my campaign", Trump said during a Cabinet meeting. "Even with limited exemptions, tariffs will raise the sale prices of new vehicles, turning off price-sensitive consumers and leading to a dip in both auto sales and auto-related jobs".

At the White House, officials were working to include language in the tariffs that would give Trump the flexibility to approve exemptions for certain countries. He added that foreign steel dumping was an "assault" that put United States companies and factories out of business.

Nations around the globe that were not excluded from the tariffs reacted with dismay.

Countermeasures would include European tariffs on USA oranges, tobacco and bourbon, he said.

Teri Schultz, reporting for NPR from Brussels, says Malmstroem expects more details from U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Saturday.

Talk of tariffs has raised the prospect of a global trade war and hit stock markets hard.

"The China Iron & Steel Association (CISA) appeals for the Chinese government to take resolute measures against imports of some US products including stainless steel, galvanized sheet, seamless pipe, coal, agriculture products and electronic products", the industry body said in a statement on its website. "We can not possibly be a security threat to the United States so we are counting on being excluded".

In an interview today with CBC Radio's Metro Morning, Trudeau said Canada has delivered persuasive arguments to American officials about the level of integration between the two economies, and the close co-operation on security from past world wars to modern-day operations. The talks are expected to resume early next month. This critical decision, which inevitably escalated tensions with China, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and the European Union, was fiercely debated within the White House when Chief Economic Adviser Gary Cohn and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis expressed serious concerns.

The fight over tariffs comes amid intense turmoil in the West Wing, which has seen waves of departures and negative news stories that have left Trump increasingly isolated in the Oval Office, according to two senior officials speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal thinking.

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