Canadian Foreign Affairs minister Chrystia Freeland (L) speaking while U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer looks on at the closing of the sixth round of NAFTA meetings in Montreal, Quebec in January. (Peter McCabe/AFP/Getty Images)
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As negotiators head into the final day of re-negotiating the 24-year-old North American Fair Free Trade Agreement, the Trump administration has made it clear it won't budge on steel and aluminum tariffs unless a new NAFTA agreement is signed.
The seventh round of the nearly yearlong NAFTA renegotiations will conclude Monday in Mexico City.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo, and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland will address reporters later in the day.
The "25 percent on steel and the 10 percent on aluminum, no country exclusions — firm line in the sand," White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said Monday on "Fox & Friends."
What did President Donald Trump say?
Trump’s senior trade advisers said over the weekend that Trump doesn't want any country excluded from the tariffs, but Canada and Mexico both asked for exclusions.
“NAFTA, which is under renegotiation right now, has been a bad deal for U.S.A. Massive relocation of companies & jobs,” the president said in a tweet Monday. “Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum will only come off if new & fair NAFTA agreement is signed. Also Canada must.. " Trump tweeted early Monday morning.
"...treat our farmers much better. Highly restrictive. Mexico must do much more on stopping drugs from pouring into the U.S. They have not done what needs to be done. Millions of people addicted and dying." he added in another tweet.
Which countries are the top exporters of steel and aluminum?
The top five steel exporters to the U.S. are:
- South Korea
China ranks No. 11.
The top four aluminum exporters are:
- United Arab Emirates
What does Canada say?
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaking to reporters on Friday in Ontario called the tariffs "absolutely unacceptable,” The Wall Street Journal reported.
Speaking to reporters in Barrie, Ontario, north of Toronto, on Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said tariffs would be “ because of the combined continental steel and aluminum sectors.
“Disruptions to this integrated market would be significant and serious,” Trudeau said. “That’s why we are pressing upon the American administration the unacceptable nature of these proposals that will hurt them every bit as much as they would hurt us.”
“It makes no sense to highlight Canada and Canadian steel and aluminum [as] a security threat to the U.S.,” he added.
What does Mexico say?
Mexico’s chief Nafta negotiator, Kenneth Smith-Ramos, said Mexico should be exempt from Trump's steel tariffs.
If the U.S. refuses to exclude Mexico, a Mexican steel industry group has called for measures to reciprocate.
Some lawmakers believe the tariffs on steel and aluminum are a good move but believe Canada and Mexico should be exempt.
“I applaud the president for targeting unfairly traded steel and aluminum,” U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, told reporters on Sunday in Mexico City.
“But blanket tariffs that also sweep up fairly traded steel and aluminum, especially with trading partners like Canada and Mexico -- they should be excluded," Brady added.
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