Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has kept up the pressure on the Trump administration on Monday, warning that Canada’s support for the new North American trade pact could depend on the lifting of US tariffs on steel. Canadian aluminum.
M me Freeland, who met Monday in Washington the US Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, said that many Canadians were asking serious questions about the ratification of the new North American Free Trade Agreement while these rates are still in force.
Minister Freeland said she informed the Trump administration that Canadians wanted US tariffs and retaliatory measures taken by Canada to be eliminated before countries approved the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CETA).
In addition to having to be ratified in Mexico and Canada, the agreement must make its way to the US Congress through a process that experts say could last until the end of the summer.
M me Freeland was visiting the capital of the United States to meet Mr. Lighthizer and other legislators, including Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, who is the new president of Subcommittee on Ways and Means of the House in the Trade File.
“Illegal and absurd” rates
The minister has called the tariffs – which the United States justifies for reasons of national security – illegal and absurd. In addition, they make even less sense now that the new NAFTA has been signed by the three countries, she said.
“I also pointed out to the ambassador Lighthizer that the existence of these tariffs, for many Canadians, raises serious questions about NAFTA ratification,” said M me Freeland after Monday’s meeting.
“Many Canadians have said that they would be very concerned if Canada ratifies while tariffs are still in effect. I think that makes no sense to Canadians. “