"There is no national security argument to be made against Canada", Trudeau said.
Trudeau says he will keep the pressure on Trump during the tariff negotiations, as well as on negotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Today, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is in Washington for a series of meetings to push our message on tariffs and NAFTA.
But some veterans of the original NAFTA have expressed doubt that it's feasible to complete a deal by spring; that's what it would take to complete the ratification procedures during the current Congress that leaves office this year.
He said the government needs to monitor steel imports more closely so that if shipment volumes are rising, it can react quickly to stop Canada from becoming a dumping ground into the USA market.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada could use tariffs to fight any "increased pressure" of steel dumping into Canada aimed at circumventing new USA restrictions.
Trudeau also rejected the idea that the tariff exemption was some kind of benevolent American favour that required repayment. Canada produces some of the cleanest steel and aluminum in the world thanks to our focus on new technology and cleaner sources of energy.
"(We're) highlighting that the imposition of tariffs on Canada would end up hurting the USA nearly as much as it would hurt Canada".
Canadian steel facilities can't compete fairly against countries that choose "to sell at a loss in order to control the market", he said. Canadian steel is in your tanks. So that whole issue of national security is off the table.
The prime minister said Canada has already implemented measures to stop transshipment, such as increased customs screening. He was to also visit three Canadian steel cities this week to reassure workers. Marie, Ont., and Regina.
Days ago, Trump had kind of blackmailed Canada by saying the U.S. will exempt its neighbouring country from the latest trade tariffs only when a new NAFTA is signed. While the penalties take effect later this month, Trump has encouraged countries to try negotiating exemptions for themselves.
Lawrence Valley and the Great Lakes, to the ports of the east and west coasts and urban centres across the country, Canada's steel and aluminum industries provide thousands of Canadians with good, middle class jobs and play an important role in our economy.