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Canada calls Insulting Justification of United States of America to Increase Tariffs

04 June 2018, 02:52 | Marta Robbins

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Speaking on CNN, foreign minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada was "sad and insulted" to be labelled a national security threat.

The U.S. announced Thursday that it would extend tariffs - 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum - to Canada, Mexico and the European Union, citing national security concerns as the main reason for implementation.

Canada filed a complaint at the World Trade Organization in response to "illegal" U.S. tariffs on imports of Canadian steel and aluminum, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said.

The remarks came after finance ministers from the Group of Seven industrialised countries expressed outrage over US-imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum and called on Washington to reverse course.

Freeland pointed out that Canada is considered part of the US national defense industrial base and has been an ally of the USA for 150 years.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the US administration's decision to place tariffs on Canadian aluminum and steel citing national security issues is an insult.

"We're putting the same kinds of tariffs exactly on steel and aluminum coming from the United States into Canada to be directly reciprocal".

G7 finance ministers and central bankers crafted a message to Washington Saturday at the end of a three-day meeting in Whistler, B.C. The gathering, meant to explore economic issues ahead of the leaders' summit, featured discussions on trade that one minister described as "tense and tough".

"I don't think our tariffs are anything to do with our friendship and longstanding alliance with Canada", Kudlow said.

Trump, as part of his crusade against what he calls the unjust trade laws for his country, had announced those tariffs in March, but extended temporary exemptions to several of its allies. It also requested a review of the U.S. measures under the North American Free Trade Agreement Chapter 20 trade dispute mechanism. "They're saying something that we believe is patently untrue".

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That summit, which will be hosted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, will also mark Trump's first visit to Canada as president.

"To be honest with you, I wouldn't mind seeing NAFTA where you'd go by a different name where you make a separate deal with Canada and a separate deal with Mexico", he said.

Mr Le Maire said it is up to the USA to take action to rebuild confidence among G7 members and to avoid any escalation during the leaders' summit next week.

She says "the US, EU and United Kingdom are close allies and have always promoted values of open and fair trade across the world".

"What companies is going to want to invest in Canada if five years later there might not be a trade deal with the United States?" he said. Japan had already been subject to the tariffs, which the USA said were necessary to protect its national security.

And in a testament to how ill-conceived the US strategy is, even the United Steelworkers union opposes the move.

He says NAFTA has been "a very lousy deal" for the USA and says, "they're our allies but they take advantage of us economically".

"Clearly, that is going to be a hard discussion", he said.

"They also discussed the North American Free Trade negotiations and agreed to continue working toward a mutually beneficial outcome".



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