Advertisement

Trudeau says he discussed USMCA with Mexico’s incoming president

FILE - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau answers a question during a joint press conference with Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he has discussed the revamped North American free trade deal with Mexico’s incoming president.

READ MORE: Study says Canada needs trade with China, but the USMCA will make that more challenging

In a statement Friday, Trudeau said he spoke Thursday with president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who begins his term on Dec. 1.

The prime minister said the pair talked about the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which “removes uncertainty and supports stronger investment and exports.”

The two leaders also touched on disputed American steel and aluminum tariffs, imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump in June on national security grounds.

WATCH: ‘It started here’: Trump touts specialty milk part of USMCA deal to Wisconsin farmers

Click to play video '‘It started here’: Trump touts specialty milk part of USMCA deal to Wisconsin farmers' ‘It started here’: Trump touts specialty milk part of USMCA deal to Wisconsin farmers
‘It started here’: Trump touts specialty milk part of USMCA deal to Wisconsin farmers – Oct 24, 2018

Canada and Mexico responded to the tariffs by imposing their own retaliatory levies on U.S. imports.

Story continues below advertisement

Kelly Craft, the U.S. ambassador to Canada, said at a business summit Friday in southwestern Ontario that Trump is reviewing the tariffs meant to protect U.S. industry.

“That is not something that is against Canada, it’s just something that’s protecting North America from other countries that will be passing raw materials through, and also to protect our steel industry at home,” she said.

READ MORE: U.S. Congress won’t vote on new NAFTA in 2018 — throwing wrench in trade deal’s timeline

David MacNaughton, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., told the same Ontario Chamber of Commerce event that he hopes the U.S. tariffs will be lifted shortly, now that the new trade agreement is settled.

“I’m hoping that the steel and aluminum tariffs come off soon. Clearly during the negotiations the president made a point on several occasions, as did members of Congress, that the (tariff) action was not so much suggesting Canada was a national security threat, but to exercise leverage.”

The talks between Canadian and Mexican leaders came just days after Mexico’s future foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, was in Ottawa with Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.

Ebrard suggested the tariffs could be lifted once the new North American trade deal is signed.