OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it is “insulting” that President Donald Trump says Canada’s steel industry poses a national security risk to the United States.
Speaking on NBC’s Sunday morning news show Meet the Press, Trudeau says he wants to make sure Americans, and more specifically Trump supporters, hear the message that they are going to feel financial strain and pain from the steel tariffs Trump imposed on Canada last week.
Trudeau says he doesn’t know what Trump wants from Canada in order to eliminate the tariffs, but that it is insulting and unacceptable to tell Canadian soldiers who fought alongside Americans for decades that Canada poses any sort of security threat to the U.S.
He says the United States has a $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 is to meet with Trump next week if the president attends the G7 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.
Trudeau says when it comes to the North American Free Trade Agreement talks the five-year sunset clause the Americans are demanding remains a non-starter for Canada and says the whole point of Trump demanding it is to ensure investors don’t see Canada or Mexico as good long-term investments.