PM Trudeau shows support for steel workers, says Canada protecting industry

PM Trudeau shows support for steel workers, says Canada protecting industry

He spoke to teporters and a group of ArcelorMittal Dofasco employees after touring one of the steel maker's steel galvanizing mills in Hamilton.

Donnelly also said the Canadian government must put resources in place to ensure that cheap steel is not diverted into Canada after Trump last week chose to impose a 25 percent tariffs on steel imports.

Following Trudeau's visit to Hamilton, he will complete his tour with two more stops in Sault Ste.

ArcelorMittal Dofasco president Sean Donnelly said the industry is also anxious about Canada becoming a back door.

Trump recently exempted Canada and Mexico from tariffs on steel and aluminum, although the US government has been dropping hints that the exception is only temporary.

"The boats are already on the way", Mr. Donnelly said.

"How will that impact the Canadian steel industry?"

Trudeau, who kicked off a four-city tour of cities March 12 that rely on aluminum and steel industries for their economies, will tour the Stelco Hamilton Works then meet with steelworkers in the morning.

"(We're) highlighting that the imposition of tariffs on Canada would end up hurting the USA nearly as much as it would hurt Canada".

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While Trump did eventually live up to his word that he would exclude Canada, the Trudeau government has spent the previous year lobbying US government officials for the exemption.

"National security issues do not apply - could not apply to Canada - when we have our aluminum in their fighter jets, our steel that goes into their armoured vehicles", Trudeau said.

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 as a glut of foreign steel looks for a new home.

"We are very concerned about the actions taken by China and the dumping of steel and aluminium on the global market", Trudeau said.

Canada is the United States' largest foreign provider of steel and aluminum with about 85 per cent of Canadian exports being directed to the country.

Veteran trade lawyer Larry Herman said Ottawa needs to act without going through a lengthy process at the World Trade Organization.

Trudeau's comments came during a tour of Canadian steel-producing towns, where he is showing support for workers in the industry.

"Ahead of actually applying border measures on offshore steel, there is a need for the Trudeau government to state its clear policy in dealing with steel diversion", Mr. Herman wrote in a memo to clients Monday.

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