Justin Trudeau visiting Hamilton to show support for steel workers


Justin Trudeau visiting Hamilton to show support for steel workers

Asked if he viewed the tariff exemption as a form of economic blackmail, Trudeau demurred and said his country is also interested in reshaping NAFTA.

Behind closed doors, Trudeau and industry representatives spoke about the issue of cheap steel entering Canada, but did not get into specifics, Canadian Steel Producers Association (CSPA) President Joseph Galimberti said.

However, he said, Canada would be alert to that and work with industry partners and the Americans to make sure that didn't happen.

The prime minister adds he is still working hard to gain a permanent exemption to these tariffs and has made it clear the USA argument of national security makes no sense.

Days ago, Trump had kind of blackmailed Canada by saying the USA will exempt its neighbouring country from the latest trade tariffs only when a new NAFTA is signed.

Canada, the top supplier of steel and aluminum to the United States market, has been temporarily exempted from the tariffs, along with Mexico.

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Trudeau arrived in Hamilton late Monday and stopped by West Town Bar and Grill for a drink and to speak with residents.

On Tuesday, he began his day by touring a Stelco plant in Hamilton, where he chatted with workers and stressed the importance of the industry.

Lawrence Valley and the Great Lakes, to the ports of the east and west coasts and urban centres across the country, Canada's steel and aluminum industries provide thousands of Canadians with good, middle class jobs and play an important role in our economy.

"We're going to ensure that Canadian steel is Canadian steel", he said at Dofasco, where he also promised unspecified measures to better protect workers' pensions where companies go under, downsize substantially, or are otherwise bought out.

Trudeau says he will keep the pressure on Trump during the tariff negotiations, as well as on negotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement.

But both Mexico and Canada have rejected Trump's linkage of the levies to the ongoing NAFTA talks.

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