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Trudeau welcomes possible Keystone XL pipeline American steel exemption

President Donald Trump signs an executive order on the Keystone XL pipeline, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.
President Donald Trump signs an executive order on the Keystone XL pipeline, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. AP Photo/Evan Vucci

The Prime Minister’s Office is welcoming a report that says the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project is exempt from Donald Trump’s directive that all U.S. infrastructure projects be built with American steel.

But the statement from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s spokesman stops short of confirming that the project has been granted the exemption.

READ MORE: ‘Buy American’ clause in proposed Trump infrastructure bill could hurt Canada-U.S. relations 

The U.S. news outlet Politico reports that Keystone XL would qualify for an exemption because it does not meet the definition of a new pipeline project.

When he first signed the executive order last month clearing the way for the project, Trump also said he would require that all new American pipelines be built with U.S. steel.

READ MORE: Donald Trump signs orders approving Keystone XL, Dakota pipelines 

Trudeau’s office says that “if confirmed,” the exemption would be a welcome recognition that the Canada and U.S. steel industries are deeply integrated and support jobs on both sides of the border.

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The prospects for Keystone XL, first proposed by Calgary-based pipeline giant TransCanada nearly 10 years ago, have been whipsawed for nearly a decade by Canada-U.S. politics, an increasingly
powerful environmental lobby and collapsing oil prices.

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