Canadian, U.S. leaders discuss North American trade

2018-03-13 04:30:24 GMT2018-03-13 12:30:24(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

OTTAWA, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday held a telephone call with U.S. President Donald Trump to discuss issues including the North American steel and aluminum industries and ongoing renegotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Trudeau made the call from Alma, Quebec where he was touring an aluminum smelter, according to a release by Trudeau's office.

"The Prime Minister acknowledged and supported the special consideration extended to Canada in the context of steel and aluminum tariffs that the President announced last week, and emphasized that preserving our mutually beneficial supply chains is critical to jobs and businesses on both sides of the border," said the release.

Trump signed an order last Thursday to slap a 25 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent tariff on aluminum with exemptions for Canada and Mexico.

Noting that the three countries are still proceeding with NAFTA renegotiations, the Canadian media said Trump has used the exemption as a tactic to try to put more pressure on Canada and Mexico.

"The leaders also welcomed and encouraged the progress being made on negotiation of the renewed North American Free Trade Agreement," the release said.

Canada and the United States share the world's longest secure border, with approximately 400,000 people, and goods and services worth 2.5 billion U.S.dollars crossing daily.

Canada is the largest market for the United States, with 283 billion U.S. dollars worth of goods exported to Canada in 2017.