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Trump's trade tariffs 'insulting, unacceptable': Trudeau

News Agencies | Updated on: 5 June 2018, 12:15 IST

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday dubbed trade tariffs imposed by the United States as insulting and unacceptable.

In an exclusive interview with NBC's "Meet The Press", Trudeau said that he failed to understand what Trump wanted to accomplish, The Hill reported.

Underscoring that Washington D.C. has a USD 2 billion surplus on steel with Ottawa, the Canadian Prime Minister said, "The reason I don't know [what he wants] is because he's talked about the fact that he's worried about trade surpluses, trade deficits around the world. Well, they have a 2 billion surplus on steel with us. So it's not like trade is imbalanced against the US favor on us."

Continuing his tirade against Trump, Trudeau rubbished the US president's claim that it was imposing tariffs on steel and aluminium goods of Canada in order to "protect American national security interests."

"Canadians have served alongside Americans in two world wars and in Korea. From the beaches of Normandy to the mountains of Afghanistan, we have fought and died together," Trudeau told moderator Chuck Todd.

"The idea that the Canadian steel that's in military, military vehicles in the United States, the Canadian aluminium that makes your fighter jets is somehow now a threat? The idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is quite frankly insulting and unacceptable," he further said.

On Thursday, Trudeau announced that the country would impose its own tariffs on United States' goods in retaliation to Washington D.C.'s steel and aluminium tariffs.

This came after Trump earlier announced that he will impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminium on three of US' biggest trading partners - Canada, Mexico and the European Union (EU). The said tariffs came into force on Thursday midnight.

25 percent tariffs will be imposed on imported steel and 10 percent on imported aluminium, as told by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in a press conference on Thursday.
Trudeau added that Canada would impose dollar for dollar tariffs on steel, aluminium and other products.

He further said that the retaliatory tariffs would only be applied to US goods and would come into effect from July 1.

Trudeau stated that the tariffs would remain in place unless the US removed its own set of tariffs.

Following this, Ottawa on Friday filed a complaint at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) over the same, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement.


First published: 2 June 2018, 10:13 IST