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Canada hails tariffs exemption, says to keep lobbying Washington

Reuters  |  TORONTO 

By Anna Paperny and Allison Lampert

(Reuters) - on Thursday hailed the it would not immediately be subject to U.S. tariffs on and aluminum while promising to continue lobbying Washington until the threat of duties had disappeared.

announced the imposition of 25 percent tariffs on imports and 10 percent for aluminum on Thursday but said and would be exempt as long as talks to update the NAFTA trade deal progressed.

"Today is a step forward. There's more hard work to do, and we will not let up," said Canadian Chrystia Freeland, who led what officials called an aggressive lobbying campaign to persuade Trump to grant an exemption.

Freeland, speaking in Toronto, also told reporters that "this work continues and it will continue until the prospect of these duties is fully and permanently lifted".

Pressed repeatedly about Trump's decision to link the tariff exemption to progress at the talks on NAFTA, which are going slowly amid U.S. demands for major changes, Freeland said considered the two tracks to be totally separate.

Canada is the largest supplier of both and aluminum to the

Freeland, who last week threatened retaliation if tariffs were to be imposed, said Canada would protect its steel and aluminum industries.

"We will not stand by while Canadians' livelihoods are put at risk," she said.

said earlier on Thursday there was a "level of confidence" that the country's close relationship with the would protect it from the U.S. tariffs.

Trudeau told radio he believed there would be "a recognition that Canada is in a particular situation in our close relationship" with the

Trudeau spoke separately by phone on Thursday with U.S. Senate and Paul Ryan, prominent Republican critics of the tariffs proposal.

Trudeau called Trump on Monday to stress his concerns about the tariffs, officials said.

"We are continuing to push on getting the right deal for Canada, getting the right deal for Canadians, getting the right deal for everyone," Trudeau said in a separate interview on Breakfast Television.

(Additional reporting by in Ottawa; Editing by and James Dalgleish)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 09 2018. 08:43 IST