Canada’s Trudeau tells metal workers: ‘We have your backs’ – by Allison Lampert (Reuters Canada – March 12, 201)

MONTREAL (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised aluminum and steelworkers on Monday he would defend them against possible U.S. tariffs and called U.S. President Donald Trump to stress that“mutually beneficial” cross-border supply chains should be preserved.

Trump said last week he would impose import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent for aluminum, effective later this month, but exempted Canada after an intense lobbying campaign arranged by Ottawa.

“We are ready to take action whenever action is required … we had your backs last week and we always will,” Trudeau said after visiting a Rio Tinto Ltd (RIO.AX) (RIO.L) smelter in Alma, Quebec, his first stop on a tour this week of Canada’s steel and aluminum regions.

In a phone call from the smelter town, Trudeau thanked Trump for the“special consideration” extended to Canada on the tariffs, and emphasized the importance of preserving“mutually beneficial” supply chains to support jobs and businesses on both sides of the border, his office said.

It was the second call in a week that Trudeau made to Trump on the tariffs issue.

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