Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told NBC News the Trump Administration’s decision to place tariffs on Canadian aluminum and steel citing national security issues is “insulting and unacceptable.”

On Thursday, President Donald Trump announced that his administration would impose large tariffs on aluminum and other metals on three of the U.S.’s closest allies – the European Union, Canada and Mexico. They include tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum.

Trudeau said tariffs will hurt jobs and wealth on both sides of the border. Canada and the U.S. have had one of the most successful alliances in modern history, he noted.

Trudeau pushed back against President Trump’s claim that the U.S. is being bullied by unfair trade deals. “He’s worried about trade surpluses, trade deficits around the world. Well, they have a $2 billion surplus on steel with us,” Trudeau said. “So it’s not like the trade is imbalanced against the U.S. favor on this one.”


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Canada ‘not going to be pushed around’

In response to the duties, Canada responded by matching dollar-for-dollar measures. “We step up when we need to,” Trudeau said. “We’re going to be polite, but we’re also not going to be pushed around.”

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told CNN, “I think what is important for Americans to understand is the justification under your rules for the imposition of these tariffs was a national security consideration. So, what you’re saying to us and to all of your NATO allies is that we somehow represent a national security threat to the United States.”

The Canadian tariff target list totals $16.6 billion in imports of steel, aluminum and other products from the U.S. Those retributive measures won’t take effect until July, but the duties are meant to encourage the U.S. to back down.

Trump’s economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, responded saying he thinks Trudeau is “overreacting.” Kudlow added that he sees trade frictions between the two countries as “more of a family quarrel.” “I don’t think our tariffs have anything to do with our friendship and our longstanding alliance with Canada,” Kudlow told Fox News. “This is a trade dispute, if you will. It can be solved if people work together.”

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