Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday said that he was concerned about reports that the US was considering reimposing tariffs on Canadian aluminium and possibly steel.
While speaking to the media, Trudeau said he looked forward to congratulating US President Donald Trump on US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) which came into force on July 1, replacing the 26-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Trudeau did not travel to Washington on Wednesday to attend a meeting with Trump and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador marking the launch of the new trade deal.
“At the same time, we are concerned about the threat of extra tariffs on aluminium and possibly steel”, Trudeau added.
“This is something that again is a little difficult to understand because the US relies heavily on imports of Canadian aluminium, in particular, for their domestic manufacturing capacity,” he said.
Trudeau said the US doesn’t produce nearly enough aluminium to be able to cover its needs.
The Prime Minister remarks came after last month’s reports that the US was planning to re-impose a tariff of 10 per cent on Canadian aluminium unless the Ottawa government agrees to limit aluminium exports.
In January, Trump signed a proclamation that would raise tariffs on derivative steel and aluminium imports to cover nails, staples and other downstream products, while studies show that tariffs have hurt the American manufacturing sector and the overall economy.
If the US decides to re-impose tariffs on Canada, it will re-open a trade fight between the two countries that has been healing since similar tariffs were lifted just over a year ago.
(With inputs from agency)