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Trudeau, Trump talk steel and aluminum

AFP  |  Ottawa 

From an aluminum smelter, Canadian called US to press for a permanent exclusion from US tariffs on aluminum and

It was their first conversation since Trump last week imposed tariffs on imported and aluminum, raising trade tensions.

"emphasized that preserving (the two nations') mutually beneficial supply chains is critical to jobs and businesses on both sides of the border," according to a summary.

The was touring an aluminum smelter in Alma, He was to also visit three Canadian cities this week to reassure workers.

His Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland, will be in tomorrow and Thursday to "advance Canada's efforts to keep trade open, fair and barrier-free, to benefit people on both sides of the border," her ministry said in a statement.

She is to meet US Trade Robert Lighthizer, Wilbur Ross, Congressional leaders and others.

Canada, the top supplier of steel and aluminum to the US market, has been temporarily exempted from the tariffs, along with

When Trump announced the 10 per cent tariffs on aluminum and 25 per cent on steel, he said and could be exempted permanently if the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is successful.

In the call with Trudeau, Trump "emphasized the importance of quickly concluding the ongoing NAFTA negotiations," the said.

But both and have rejected Trump's linkage of the levies to the ongoing NAFTA talks.

"We will continue working toward securing a definite and permanent exemption from those tariffs," said earlier.

He said he and Trump also "welcomed and encouraged the progress being made on negotiation of the renewed North American Free Trade Agreement" and discussed an opioid crisis affecting both nations.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, March 13 2018. 08:15 IST