Trudeau: It’s ‘insulting’ that the US considers Canada a national security threat
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in an interview aired Sunday that the reasoning behind implementing new U.S. tariffs on Canada was “insulting and unacceptable.”
“One of the things that I have to admit I’m having a lot of trouble getting around is the idea that this entire thing is coming about because the president and the administration have decided that Canada and Canadian steel and aluminum is a national security threat to the United States,” Trudeau told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“The idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is quite frankly insulting and unacceptable,” he added.
President Trump announced Thursday that he would impose a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum from key U.S. allies, including Canada, Mexico and the European Union (EU).
The tariffs were initially announced in March, though the president granted the group a temporary reprieve from the stiff tariffs, which went into effect Friday.
To justify the action, Trump cited Section 232, a rarely invoked law that allows tariffs to be placed on a country in the interest of national security.
Trudeau confirmed that the country would impose direct reciprocal tariffs on the U.S. in retaliation.
“We’re putting the same kinds of tariffs exactly on steel and aluminum coming from the United States into Canada to be directly reciprocal,” Trudeau said. “But we’re also putting a number of tariffs on consumer goods, finished products for which Canadians have easy alternatives.”
“One of the truths about tariffs is they drive up costs for consumers. And on top of that, these tariffs are going to be hurting American workers and Canadian workers,” he said.
The prime minister added that it was nonsensical to think of Canadian steel — which is used in U.S. military vehicles — as a national security threat given the long-standing alliance between the two countries on the battlefield.
“The idea that our soldiers who had fought and died together on the beaches of World War II, on the mountains of Afghanistan and have stood shoulder-to-shoulder in some of the most difficult places in the world, that are always there for each other, this is insulting to that,” Trudeau said.
Canada will host the annual G7 summit — the meeting of the world’s top seven Western economies — on Friday and Saturday in Quebec.