The publicly sold narrative is Canadian PM Justin Trudeau holding out on a celebratory USMCA visit to Washington DC over worries about U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs. However, the background issue is Justin maintaining his “resistance” bona-fides during a U.S. election year.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is coming, but Justin has all those pesky political optics to worry about. Or something….
OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday he was still unsure whether he would go to Washington D.C. next week to celebrate a new North American trade treaty, citing concern about possible U.S. tariffs on aluminum.
Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who is due to meet U.S. President Donald Trump next week, has said he would like Trudeau to attend.
“We’re still in discussions with the Americans about whether a trilateral summit next week makes sense,” Trudeau said in a news conference. “We’re obviously concerned about the proposed issue of tariffs on aluminum and steel that the Americans have floated recently.”
U.S. national security tariffs on imported steel and aluminum – including from Canada and Mexico – were a major irritant during negotiations for the United States-Mexico-Canada trade deal, which was reached last year and entered into force on July 1.
But now, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is considering domestic producers’ request to restore the 10% duty on Canadian aluminum to combat a “surge” of imports. (link)