Trudeau says threatened U.S. auto tariffs based on flimsy logic

Posted In: News Date:May 25th, 2018

A move by the United States to explore tariffs on auto imports is based on flimsy logic and is part of the pressure from Washington to renegotiate the NAFTA trade pact, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday.

In an interview with Reuters, Trudeau said that while U.S. President Donald Trump had raised the idea of punitive measures, there was no guarantee they will happen. Trudeau also predicted talk of tariffs would likely disappear if slow-moving negotiations to update the North American Free Trade Agreement - currently stuck on autos issues - are successful.

The Trump administration said on Wednesday it had launched a national security investigation into car and truck imports that could lead to new tariffs similar to those imposed on imported steel and aluminum recently. Canada rejects any idea it could be a threat to the United States.

"I am — even more than I was with steel and aluminum —  trying to figure out where a possible national security connection is," Trudeau said at the luxurious riverside hotel that will be the site of a Group of Seven summit in June. "Taking that a step further into autos seems to me to be on even flimsier logical grounds," Trudeau said.