Trudeau Says Pence Scuttled NAFTA Deal With Untenable Ultimatum

Trudeau Says Pence Scuttled NAFTA Deal With Untenable Ultimatum

Trudeau Says Pence Scuttled NAFTA Deal With Untenable Ultimatum

The US said the tariffs on imports from the EU, Mexico and Canada would start at midnight.

European Union officials lodged a formal complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Friday, the first in a series of measures created to hit back at the United States. Renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement will continue, he said, but he did not expect an agreement to be finalized before the July 1 presidential election.

RT:To be fair to Donald Trump, he did say when he was on the campaign trail that this is the sort of stuff he was going to do.

"That Canada could be considered a national-security threat to the United States is inconceivable", said Trudeau, adding that the people of the US are not Canada's target, and that the federal government would have far preferred that its hand wasn't forced.

In order to persuade Donald Trump to eventually drop his punishing steel and aluminum tariffs and finally agree to a renegotiated NAFTA, Canada's strategy is to somehow engineer a way for the USA president to claim a political victory by doing just that.

Canada's softwood lumber sector has been dealing with the latest US tariffs to hit the industry for almost a year, handing over more than $200 million in 2017 to cover duties of about 20 per cent of the value of all exports.

Canada and Mexico have not been supportive of the idea, having said that it would remove economic security for businesses that are trying to comply with trade rules, The Post reported.

Last March, the European Union prepared a list of possible tariffs on American goods, including orange juice, peanut butter, clothing, whiskey, boats and motorcycles.

"If the US thinks this, in some way, will soften up Canada's position or make it want to give concessions to resolve the NAFTA, they are misunderstanding the situation", he said.

The strong words followed swift responses to the tariffs by Canada, Mexico and the European Union, which all plan to retaliate with levies on billions of dollars of USA goods, including orange juice, whiskey, blue jeans and Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

"Canada is a secure supplier of aluminum and steel to the USA defense industry, putting aluminum in American planes and steel in American tanks", Trudeau said.

The next question is whether Trump, enraged that anybody would dare place new tariffs on American goods, will retaliate further.

Australia is exempt from the tariffs after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull secured a deal to avoid the USA trade measures in March. The bloc immediately responded to the USA move, stating that it would proceed with a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute and impose additional duties on U.S. imports.

FILE - Jose Mata grinds a steel pipe at the Borusan Mannesmann plant in Baytown, Texas, April 23, 2018.

Ross himself heads to Beijing on Friday where he will attempt to get firm deals to export more US goods in a bid to cut America's $375 billion trade deficit with China.

"We look forward to continued negotiations, both with Canada and Mexico on the one hand, and with the European Commission on the other hand, because there are other issues that we also need to get resolved", he said.

"The Massachusetts economy has a lot of companies that buy steel and aluminium", said Chris Geehern of Associated Industries of Massachusetts. The U.S., Canada and Mexico are also involved in a tough renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. "These tariffs are totally unacceptable".

Ross shrugged off questions about the USA facing possible retaliation, or whether the move would negatively affect the G7 meeting.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire criticized the tariffs. We are for America first and we are going to do everything we can to hurt you to help ourselves because that is how Mr. Trump made his fortune in real estate - by threats and intimidation and long lawsuits.

Soybeans are big business in Midwestern states like Iowa, where Trump has strong support. Most said they'd slap a like amount of tariffs on United States imports to their countries. Like Trump, Hatch is a member of the Republican Party.

Canada isn't taking President Donald Trump's decision to hit the country with steel and aluminum tariffs lying down. Trump directed the Commerce Department to investigate whether auto imports threaten national security.

The Associated Press reported this story. George Grow was the editor. Hai Do adapted the AP reports for VOA Learning English.

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