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

Trudeau rejects immediate retaliation on U.S. tariffs

Trudeau says he wants to respect the government’s 30-day consultation period

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is rejecting calls to speed up the imposition of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. steel and aluminum.

Trudeau says he wants to respect the government’s 30-day consultation period on its proposed $16.6-billion tariff package, retaliation for the Trump administration’s decision to impose 25 per cent import duties on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum.

The federal government wants to consult with Canadians before enacting its response, which targets not only U.S. steel and aluminum, but also a wide variety of goods from orange juice to playing cards and toilet paper.

Joseph Galimberti, the president of the Canadian Steel Producers Association, says he urged the government in a cabinet meeting today to immediately impose the retaliatory tariffs on metals while it consults on other products.

Galimberti says American steel continues to flow into Canada tariff-free while Canadian steel now faces tariffs south of the border.

During question period, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer also urged Trudeau to accelerate the response, but the prime minister says he wants to follow through on the consultations while trying to persuade the U.S. to drop the tariffs.

The Canadian Press

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