Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday called President Donald Trump’s decision to levy trade tariffs on its closest trade ally on national security grounds “insulting.” “The idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is quite frankly insulting and unacceptable,” Trudeau said in an interview with Meet the Press. The Prime Minister noted that Canadian soldiers are fighting alongside US forces in Afghanistan and elsewhere and the country’s steel and aluminium are used by the American military to build fighter jets and military vehicles. Trudeau says he doesn’t know what Trump wants from Canada in order to eliminate the tariffs, but says the US has a USD 2 billion surplus on steel trade with Canada and both countries are on the same page when it comes to addressing oversupply of steel coming from China.
Trudeau announced Canada would reciprocate with its own steel and aluminum tariffs against the US, as well as on consumer goods and finished products for which Canadians have easy alternatives. “One of the truths about tariffs is they drive up the costs for consumers. These tariffs are going to be hurting American workers and Canadian workers,” Trudeau cautioned. Trudeau is to meet with Trump next week if the president attends the Group of Seven (G-7) leaders summit in Quebec as expected, and the prime minister says his message will be that Canada is polite but not a punching bag for the president.
However, Trudeau says when it comes to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) talks the five-year sunset clause the Trump administration is demanding remains a non-starter for Canada.
Meanwhile, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on “Fox News Sunday” the Canadian Prime Minister is “overreacting” to the Trump administration’s tariffs.
“To say that this is an attack on Canada is not right,” Kudlow told Fox News Sunday. “I think he’s overreacting.” Kudlow said the friendship between the United States and Canada has nothing to do with the tariffs. “I don’t think our tariffs are anything to do with our friendship and longstanding alliance with Canada,” Kudlow said. “This is a trade dispute, if you will. It can be resolved, if people work together.”
Source: Kuwait News Agency