February 16, 2019 4:16 pm

Freeland says she pushed for end to steel, aluminum tariffs in meeting with Nancy Pelosi

WATCH: Justin Trudeau says tariffs on Canadian steel ‘hurt’ U.S. workers


Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says she expressed Canada’s opposition to U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Freeland said she met with Pelosi and a delegation of Congressional Democrats on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference in Germany.

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“We spoke a lot about the [Section] 232 steel and aluminum tariffs and I explained why Canada is so strongly opposed to them and why Canada believes they must be lifted,” Freeland said in a conference call with reporters on Saturday.

READ MORE: Amid tough trade talk, Trump admin waived steel tariffs for hundreds of companies

She added that she also spoke to Pelosi about Canada’s retaliatory measures, “and heard that that is indeed having an impact.”

Freeland also confirmed that she talked tariffs with U.S. Senate Finance Committee chair Sen. Chuck Grassley earlier this month.

“I explained to the senator how important it is for Canada for those tariffs to be listed,” Freeland said, adding that she told Grassley that it was “specious and absurd” that the Trump administration cited national security as justification for the tariffs.

“The Canadian position is that now that we have concluded our trade negotiations with the United States, that is all the more reason why these tariffs ought to be lifted,” she said.

WATCH: Bains says dropping retaliatory tariffs against U.S. would mean ‘unilateral surrender’ to Americans

Freeland’s remarks came three days after Grassley, a Republican, said that Trump’s tariffs were standing in the way of the ratification of USMCA.

The USMCA cannot be finalized until it is approved by lawmakers in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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