Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said the US imposition of tariffs on metal imports is an insult to their long standing security partnership.
“The president and the administration have decided that Canada and Canadian steel and aluminum is a national security threat to the United States. Now first of all, the idea that our soldiers who had fought and died together on the beaches in World War II, on the mountains of Afghanistan and have stood shoulder to shoulder in some of the most difficult places in the world, that are always there for each other. This is insulting to them,” he said on Sunday.
He added that US President Donald Trump’s move will apart from hurting Canadian jobs will also have an adverse affect on US jobs as well.
“The idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is quite frankly insulting and unacceptable,” he further added.
Trudeau further noted that he has no idea what Trump wants from Canada, and that a year ago the president told him it would be a bad decision to include Canada in any action under Section 232’s national security rationale.
On Friday, Trump told Canada and the European Union to do more to bring down their trade surpluses, a day after hitting the two US allies and Mexico with import tariffs on their steel and aluminum.
Trump castigated Canada in a tweet on Friday morning, saying it had treated US farmers “very poorly for a very long period of time”.
“Highly restrictive on Trade! They must open their markets and take down their trade barriers! They report a really high surplus on trade with us,” he wrote.
His strong words followed swift responses to his tariffs by Canada, Mexico and the European Union, which all plan to retaliate with levies on billions of dollars of US goods from orange juice and whiskey to blue jeans and Harley-Davidsons.
The EU took the United States to the World Trade Organization to challenge the legality of the new tariffs and the Trump administration’s national-security justification. Brussels has lodged an eight-page list at the international trade body of goods it would hit with retaliatory measures.
Canada and Mexico, embroiled in talks with the United States to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), responded swiftly. Canada, the largest supplier of steel to the United States, will impose tariffs covering C$16.6 billion ($12.8 billion) on US imports, including whiskey, orange juice, steel, aluminum and other products.
On Thursday Trudeau announced his country’s retaliatory measures saying that : “The American administration has made a decision today that we deplore, and obviously is going to lead to retaliatory measures, as it must.”