CANADIAN PRESS: SAGUENAY, Que. – Just before he headed to the G7 summit, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a stop in the heart of Canada’s aluminum country – where he repeated his pledge to try to convince Donald Trump that his heavy-handed tariff strategy is a big mistake.
Trudeau shook hands and posed for photos with locals inside a busy shopping mall Thursday as he campaigned in Quebec’s Saguenay region in support of a Liberal candidate running in an upcoming federal byelection. But there were global politics at play, too.
Saguenay has a significant connection to what will be a major point of debate for G7 leaders this week because the region is home to a big part of the country’s aluminum industry.
The U.S. president angered his G7 allies last week by imposing punishing tariffs on aluminum and steel imports. Canada and the European Union responded with tariff threats of their own, leaving Saguenay caught in the crossfire of an escalating trade dispute between G7 partners.
“We’re interested in defending Canadian interests — and on top of that, it turns out I’m also defending American interests, because these tariffs they’re putting forward are going to hurt American workers as well,” Trudeau told a news conference. “If I can get the president to actually realize that what he’s doing is counterproductive for his own goals as well, perhaps we can move forward in a smarter way.”