Tariffs imposed by the US Trump administration on Canadian steel and aluminum had no effect on trade talks – and Canada may ratify the new USMCA agreement even if they remain in place, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in an interview with CNN.
But Trudeau said he wants the tariffs lifted before the USMCA comes into effect.
“The tariffs on steel and aluminum are a continued frustration,” he told CNN’s Poppy Harlow. “We would much rather have genuine free trade with the United States, so we’re going to continue to work as soon as we can to lift those tariffs, but we’re not at the point of saying that we wouldn’t sign if it wasn’t lifted – although we’re trying to make that case.”
CNN interviewed Trudeau at the Fortune Most Powerful Women conference, which was held in Montreal on November 6, the same day as midterm elections in the US. The Global News report on the interview included a video of Trudeau answering questions.
In the midterm US elections, the Democrats wrested control of the US House of Representatives from Trump’s Republicans, who held on to their majority in the Senate. It’s not clear yet what impact the election results might have on the ratification of USMCA, which is likely to happen in the US sometime in spring of 2019, Global reported.