Trump says he 'wouldn't mind' replacing NAFTA with bilateral deals

Posted June 04, 2018

Trudeau said on Sunday that he is having "a lot of trouble getting around" that Canada has abruptly become "a national security threat to the United States".

"We think that the G7 (meetings) will be useful if at the end of the G7, the United States is aware of the possible negative consequences of their decision on the unity of the G7 - not only the economic unity, but also the political one", Mr Le Maire said.

The Trump administration announced last Thursday it was putting a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum from Canada, Mexico and countries in the European Union.

On Thursday Trudeau announced his country's retaliatory measures saying that: "The American administration has made a decision today that we deplore, and obviously is going to lead to retaliatory measures, as it must".

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Sunday that the USA should "think hard" about the message it sends to allies by imposing steel and aluminum tariffs on them.

Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau said that Washington's decision to impose the tariffs - Canada provides half of all USA aluminum imports - had lessened the chances for a successful outcome of the NAFTA talks.

Canada also responded to the U.S. decision with the introduction of a tariff "countermeasures" on imports.

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President Trump's top economic adviser said Sunday that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is "overreacting" to new USA tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada.

The dispute over US President Donald Trump's new levies on steel and aluminum imports is driving a wedge in the G7 group of industrial nations. And in this case, on trade, the United States is an outlier.

Washington says it will hit Canada with tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Canadian officials have said that their proposed tariffs are meant to affect about $12.8 billion in goods coming from the USA, roughly equal to the amount of Canadian goods hit by the Trump tariffs.

Many of them have promised an appropriate response to the US' actions, which are openly being called a "trade war". It also requested a review of the USA measures under the North American Free Trade Agreement Chapter 20 trade dispute mechanism.

He also warned the United States in an interview with NBC News that American workers are going to be hurt by the measures as well as the huge retaliatory trade action Canada is taking against American goods starting July 1. "I don't think we're satisfied yet that they will protect or uphold all the shipments of steel coming into Canada from all around the world ..."

Trudeau is hosting a June 8-9 summit of Group of Seven leaders, including Trump, in the Quebec region of Charlevoix.

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Following the conclusion of a three-day meeting of G7 finance ministers, Canadian Minister of Finance Bill Morneau issued a summary saying that the other six members want Trump to hear their message of "concern and disappointment" over the USA trade actions.

"We are in the middle of a trade discussion - nobody wants to be in a trade war", McCarthy said on CNN's "State of the Union".

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 upcoming leaders' summit. "So it's not like the trade is imbalanced against the US favor on this one", Trudeau said.

Mnuchin faced so much criticism from his counterparts that Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said he nearly "felt sorry" for the USA finance chief.

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

However, readily available Canadian substitutes for these US goods could get a boost as result, said Joanne McNeish, an associate professor at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University.

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

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