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Trudeau tells premiers U.S. tariffs 'unacceptable' as Trump's G7 looms

Last Updated Jun 5, 2018 at 7:20 am PDT

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau leaves his office on Parliament Hill after meeting with the Canadian Steel Producers Association, in Ottawa on Monday, June 4, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Summary

The PMO says Trudeau has updated premiers on Ottawa's response to the "unacceptable" US tariffs

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office says he spoke to provincial and territorial premiers on Monday to update them on Ottawa’s response to the “unacceptable” U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs.

Details of the call were released this morning, just days before Trudeau is scheduled to host U.S. President Donald Trump and other fellow G7 leaders in Quebec for their annual summit, which begins Friday.

Trump’s decision last week to impose tariffs on Canada, Mexico and Europe fractured last weekend’s meeting of G7 finance ministers.

It is threatening to do the same when their leaders convene later this week in Quebec’s picturesque Charlevoix region.

Trump will be making his Canadian debut at the summit, but the personal relationship that Trudeau has tried to forge with the mercurial president has become strained of late.

Trudeau has used tough words to describe the Trump administration’s decision, and continued that approach on his call with the premiers.

“The prime minister expressed his disappointment with the decision by the U.S. administration to impose tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum,” says a readout from this office.

“The prime minister noted that, given our shared history, it is inconceivable that Canadian steel or aluminum might be a security threat to the U.S.”

Trudeau told the premiers he plans to vigorously defend and protect Canadian workers and industry, and that he is committed to successfully renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement “that is in the best interests of Canadians.”