President Donald Trump on Friday took to Twitter and lambasted Canada for mistreating American farmers. He said that the country has taken advantage of them for a very long time.
His tweet came hours after the U.S imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada, Mexico, and the E.U.
At a press conference on Thursday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau criticized Trump’s decision to place tariffs on Canadian aluminum and steel. He said that the move is “punitive” and “totally unacceptable.”
Canada has made it clear that it will not back down and will be matching dollar for dollar in response and targeting goods from red states. Canada’s planned retaliatory measures will take effect on July 1, and stay in place until the U.S. backs down, stated a press release issued by the Department of Finance Canada.
According to a report by Business Insider, the U.S, Canada, and Mexico were on the verge of clinching a deal on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Trudeau and Trump had plans to meet to discuss the details. However, on Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence called Canada and informed them of a sunset clause. Trudeau did not agree to this pre-condition and called off the meeting.
According to the clause, the U.S. proposed that the three countries reevaluate NAFTA after five years at a time. The clause also allowed any of the countries to walk away from the deal during that period. This was not acceptable to Canada.
A White House official, however, disputed Trudeau’s remarks, stating that the Canadian prime minister exaggerated just how close to the trade deal the three countries were.
“It is simply inaccurate for the prime minister to frame it as the parties were on the cusp of a deal and then it fell apart over a sunset clause. There were still major issues that needed to be resolved,” the White House official told Business Insider.
Tariffs To Harm Both Canada And U.S.
According to Trudeau, Trump’s tariffs will harm industries and workers on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border. He promised that his government will work to protect Canadian steel and aluminum workers.
“I’ve assured them that we’re going to be working with them to make sure that Canadian jobs are protected and that Canadian workers and communities continue to do OK despite these unnecessary and punitive actions from the United States,” Trudeau told CBC Radio’s Information Morning host Portia Clark during a stop in Halifax.
“This is obviously a ridiculous situation that the U.S. has tied national security concerns to the trade of metals from Canada,” he said.
European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker said President Trump’s tariffs were “totally unacceptable.” The EU will retaliate in due course, he said.