U.S. tariffs mean NAFTA talks have ‘fallen through the floor:’ senior Canadian official

Click to play video: 'Chrystia Freeland responds to Trump’s criticism of Canada in NAFTA'
Chrystia Freeland responds to Trump’s criticism of Canada in NAFTA
WATCH: When asked about Donald Trump's criticism of Canada with regards to NAFTA, Global Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said that she, the Prime Minister and the government of Canada will be absolutely resolute in defense of the Canadian national interest – May 23, 2018

A senior Canadian government official says Donald Trump’s decision to end an exemption for Canada and Mexico from tariffs on steel and aluminum exports mean the chances of ever striking a new NAFTA deal have “just fallen through the floor.”

The U-S president defended the tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum on Friday — repeating his claim that NAFTA has been a terrible deal for the U-S, allowing Canada and Mexico to make “many billions of dollars” at the expense of Americans.

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Trump also resurrected his idea of negotiating separate bilateral trade pacts with Canada and Mexico, saying a trilateral deal doesn’t make sense because all three countries are very different. But Canadian officials say the federal government remains committed to NAFTA.

Prime Minister Trudeau says Canada will retaliate for the U-S tariffs by imposing 16.6 billion dollars worth of “countermeasures” that hit a range of U-S products, from flat-rolled steel to playing cards.

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