Trump waves threat of steel tariffs over NAFTA talks – by Adrian Morrow (Globe and Mail – March 6, 2018)

U.S. President Donald Trump is threatening to hit Canada and Mexico with hefty tariffs on steel and aluminum until the two countries agree to a renegotiated NAFTA, rolling two looming trade battles into a single protectionist attack.

Canada and Mexico are pushing back, insisting the two fights must not be linked and keeping up a full-court press to stop Mr. Trump’s tariffs. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tried to warn Mr. Trump off tariffs, telling him in a telephone call on Monday that levies would make it harder to strike a deal.

Canada and Mexico have powerful allies in the United States, with senior Republican politicians demanding that he change his mind and mulling passing a law to stop him.

The three sides on Monday concluded the seventh round of North American free-trade agreement talks with a deal far off.

The President’s point-man on the file, Robert Lighthizer, warned that “time is running very short” and that Mr. Trump’s ultimatum was an “incentive” for the other countries to accept a deal.

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