Freeland says Trump metal tariffs ‘contradict’ new NAFTA and will have to go
OTTAWA -- U.S. President Donald Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs contradict a key component of the new North American trade agreement -- the pivotal section on autos -which will ultimately lead to their demise, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says.U.S. businesses are making that argument, and Freeland told The Canadian Press that gives momentum to Canada’s ongoing efforts to have the levies lifted in 2019. The minister said Canada’s fight to remove the tariffs, imposed by the U.S. president, is being aided by the broader calls from American business to have them to be lifted before the new continental trade pact is ratified. Their argument centres on the fact that a major section of the new agreement -- known as the Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement, or CUSMA -- focuses on raising the content requirements of North American-built cars, Freeland said. The rules on origin for auto- mobiles were a key sticking point throughout the contentious 14-month renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. During the negotiation, Trump also imposed a 25-per-cent tariff on Canadian and Mexican steel and 10-per-cent on aluminum, using a section of U.S. trade law that gives the Oval Office the authority to do so under a national security provision.