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The meeting is supposed to be about marking the new continental trade deal and is going to take place with not just the US President, but also Mexico’s Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. The Canadian prime minister made the comments Friday when asked by a reporter about his invitation to meet with his North American counterparts to commemorate the trade pact. It was a trade pact that also came into force this week.
The meeting is scheduled for the 8-9 July.
However, it appears as though Justin Trudeau is prepared to stay home from the USMCA summit.
“We’re still in discussions with the Americans about whether a trilateral summit next week makes sense,” Trudeau told a press conference near Ottawa.
“We’re obviously concerned about the proposed issue of tariffs on aluminum and steel that the Americans have floated recently.
“We’re also concerned about the health situation and the coronavirus reality that is still hitting all three of our countries.”
The US has been putting a great deal of pressure on Canada recently to put quotas on its aluminium exports.
This is in order to slow a rush in shipments.
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If not then they face a reintroduction of a 10 per cent tariff according to those close to the issue.
Last month, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told a Senate Finance Committee hearing of recent surges in imported steel and aluminum, “substantially from Canada, some from Mexico.”
The US imposed steel and aluminium duties on Canada and Mexico for a year, citing national security grounds, before lifting them for both countries in 2019.
Canada had retaliated with tariffs of its own on U.S. goods.
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However, the agreement to remove these levies stated the US could also reimpose them after consulting with Canada.
And, “in the event that imports of aluminium or steel products surge meaningfully beyond historic volumes of trade over a period of time.”
This could potentially lead to new retaliatory duties from Canada.
Mainly because the reintroduction of US tariffs would create a new cross-border tension between the two countries.
Earlier this week, Trudeau warned that if the Trump administration put tariffs back on Canadian aluminium it would raise input costs for American manufacturers and hurt the US economy.
“We have heard obviously the musings and proposals from the United States [that] perhaps there needs to be more tariffs on aluminium,” he told reporters Monday.
“What we simply highlight is the United States needs Canadian aluminum. They do not produce enough, nowhere near enough aluminum in the States, to be able to fill their domestic manufacturing needs.”
The pandemic is also something else that the Canadian Prime Minister will have on his mind.
As if he is to visit the US, then Justin Trudeau will need to make sure he self-isolates on the way back.
“These are obviously conversations that we’re having both with the Americans and with public health officials here in Canada,” he said.
“But I can assure you that at all times we will follow all the rules and all the advice of public health.”
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