Donnelly also said the Canadian government must put resources in place to ensure that cheap steel is not diverted into Canada after Trump last week made a decision to impose a 25 percent tariffs on steel imports.
Trudeau also expressed optimism about reaching a good North American free-trade agreement that will benefit Canada as well as the US and Mexico - despite Trump's constant refrain that the current deal is a bad one.
His Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland, will be in Washington on Tuesday 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. Canadian steel is in your tanks.
The Trump administration plans to slap tariffs of 25 per cent on steel shipped into the United States and 10 per cent on aluminum imports, but has exempted Canada and Mexico - at least temporarily.
Days ago, Trump had kind of blackmailed Canada by saying the U.S. will exempt its neighbouring country from the latest trade tariffs only when a new NAFTA is signed. "We will continue working toward securing a definite and permanent exemption from those tariffs", Trudeau said earlier.
He spoke to teporters and a group of ArcelorMittal Dofasco employees after touring one of the steel maker's steel galvanizing mills in Hamilton.
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Trudeau is also brushing off the idea that Canada might be bullied into a deal.
Trudeau told another USA network that he sees them as separate issues: "We don't link together the tariffs and the negotiations with NAFTA", he told CNBC in an interview from a Quebec aluminum plant Monday.
It was their first conversation since Trump last week imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, raising trade tensions. The Canadian aluminum industry?
While this tour is mainly aimed at reassuring workers, the prime minister tells CHCH News that he's also speaking with industry leaders about what the global tariffs could mean for Canada moving forward.
Trudeau's view has prominent support: A poll of leading economists from the University of Chicago has found rare unanimity on the topic, with a newly released survey Monday showing that zero per cent of economists surveyed believe tariffs will help Americans. So that whole issue of national security is off the table.
But the US government also wants to make sure cheap steel being dumped into North America by Brazil, South Korea, China and other countries doesn't enter the United States through a Canadian back door.