Canada's Trudeau tells metal workers 'we have your backs'

Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters Saturday that he was “very pleased” President Trump confirmed new US tariffs of steel and aluminum would not apply to Australia

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is heading to Canadian steel country this week on a three-day tour created to shore up the industry.

Freeland is coming off a tense week which started with the seventh round of NAFTA negotiations making little progress towards an agreement but ended with a sigh of relief when Canada and Mexico secured an exemption from new USA tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

The president of the Canadian Steel Producers Association says Canada may be off the hook for now from American steel and aluminum tariffs but it is still at risk from a glut of foreign steel.

Trudeau said he's willing to work with the US on a stronger solution.

"There's a lot of steel out there looking for a home", said Herman.

Mr. Trudeau said his government is working hard to ensure that the exemptions stay in place and took issue with the U.S. President's decision to use the tariffs as a bargaining chip.

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The EU has been talking with partners about a legal challenge at the World Trade Organization to Mr Trump's plan and is considering safeguards to prevent steel and aluminium, diverted from the United States, flooding into Europe.

Trudeau, speaking on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" Monday, said he believed that relief was justified both by the exemption US President Donald Trump granted Canada and Mexico from his steel and aluminum tariffs and by the understanding he sensed in the US of "the level of complex integration between our two countries on steel and aluminum".

It also said Mr Trump was "cherry-picking" particular tariffs to highlight differences, and maintained average tariffs were very similar on each side of the Atlantic - 3 per cent for products into Europe and 2.4 per cent for those entering the United States. "But we are not afraid, we will stand up to the bullies", she told a trade conference in Brussels.

NAFTA talks started seven months ago and the starting to get antsy about getting a deal. The tour was planned before the tariff exemption was confirmed but will still go ahead despite the exemption, with stops in Alma., Que, Hamilton, Ont., Sault Ste. Marie and Regina this week. If there's a tariff on a piece of paper, turn it into a paper airplane and it's in a different category and no longer subject to a tariff.

The Prime Minister told aluminum plant workers in Saguenay, Quebec, he will always have their backs when it comes to fighting US tariffs. The steel tariff investigation was launched to see the impact of steel imports on USA national security.

"Cherry-picking particular tariffs in one category, like looking just at auto tariffs on both sides, misses the whole picture, while not taking into account lower levels on other products does not give an accurate picture of tariffs in general", a Commission spokesman said. Justin Trudeau is touring aluminum and steel factories to show support for the industries.

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