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Budget mum on NAFTA as Trump plots new tariffs and lumber dispute continues

By Marco Vigliotti      

The tabling of the budget late last month just happened to coincide with Donald Trump’s latest and arguably boldest protectionist action on the trade front, with the president announcing the U.S. will impose a 25 per cent tariff on steel imports and a 10 per cent tariff on aluminum imports.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement this week that the United States' new proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum are 'absolutely unacceptable.' Ms. Freeland, pictured at the end of the sixth round of NAFTA negotiations in Montreal in January, was in Mexico City this week for round No. 7. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

The Trudeau government pledged $191-million over five years in this year’s budget to help “support softwood lumber jobs,” including litigation over tariffs introduced by the United States, but largely steered clear of any potentially controversial provisions on continental trade in the annual spending blueprint, according to trade expert Dan Ciuriak.

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