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Trump asked to reconsider tariffs imposed on Canadian steel, aluminum

Quebec City, June 10 : Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pressed Washington to reconsider the US tariffs imposed on Canadian steel and aluminum, and encouraged President Donald Trump to work with Canada to address unfair trade. Trudeau made the remarks when he met with Trump during the G7 Summit here in Canada on Friday, according to the official Group of Seven (G7) website. The leaders of the G7, the world’s most powerful industrialized countries including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Britain, Japan and the US, meet every year to discuss collaboration on issues like world economy, climate change, security and peace.

Trudeau reiterated it is unacceptable to include Canada in 232 national security tariffs, Xinhua reported.

The two leaders also discussed the close security and economic partnership between Canada and the US. They exchanged views on energy exports from Canada. Furthermore, they agreed on the importance of bringing negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to a successful and timely conclusion.

Meanwhile, Trump said on Saturday that renegotiations on NAFTA could lead to a new trilateral trade deal with substantial changes or two separate trade agreements.

“We’ll either leave it the way it is as a threesome deal with Canada, the United States and Mexico, and change it very substantially…or we’re going to make a deal directly with Canada, directly with Mexico,” Trump said.

“So we are either going to have NAFTA in a better negotiated form or we’re going to have two deals. Both of those things could happen,” Trump said, warning that it would be “very bad” for Canada and Mexico if no deal could be reached among the three countries. Trump also said NAFTA negotiators were “pretty close” to agree on some kind of sunset provision, which could allow the trade agreement to be renegotiated every five years.

Talks on renegotiating the NAFTA began in August 2017 as Trump threatened to withdraw from the 23-year-old trade deal. The three countries remain divided over the rules of origin for automobiles and other issues following months-long negotiations.

The G7 summit came after the Trump administration announced last week to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union (EU), Canada and Mexico, which has drawn strong opposition from the domestic business community and quick retaliation from US major trading partners. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita