Address by the Minister of Foreign Affairs on steel and aluminum


March 8, 2018 – Toronto, Ontario

Check against delivery. This speech has been translated in accordance with the Government of Canada’s official languages policy and edited for posting and distribution in accordance with its communications policy.

Good afternoon.

I’d like to begin by acknowledging that we are gathered on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation.

I will make a statement before answering questions.

Since the U.S. Commerce Department began its section 232 investigation, the Government of Canada has engaged with members of the administration, U.S. legislators at the state and federal levels, and U.S. business and labour leaders to defend Canadian industry and fight for Canadian workers. I would like to thank Canada’s many friends in America for their support.

We are America’s best friend and closest ally. Canada and the United States have the greatest economic partnership of any two countries in the world. We’re staunch allies in NORAD, in NATO, and all along our 8,891 km peaceful and secure border.

For Canada to be considered as posing any kind of security threat to the United States is inconceivable.

In recent days, we have worked energetically with our American counterparts to secure an exemption for Canada from these tariffs. This includes tremendous efforts by Canadian premiers, business and labour leaders and parliamentarians of all stripes. This has been a true Team Canada effort. This work continues and it will continue until the prospect of these duties is fully and permanently lifted.

Today is a step forward. There’s more hard work to do, and we will not let up. We are focused on getting a good result for Canadians.

As we move forward, we will be thorough, measured and effective.

Our approach will be guided by our strong desire to abide by, and uphold, the rules-based international order that Canada and the United States helped build.

Make no mistake: we will protect our industry. We will not stand by while Canadians’ livelihoods are put at risk. We will strongly defend our workers.

With respect to NAFTA: we are energetically at work modernizing and updating this agreement in a way that upholds and defends the best interests of Canadians. Our approach has been consistent since negotiations began last year. Today’s announcement does not change that.

We know a fair deal, a win-win-win deal, is within reach. That is what we are working towards. Canada is absolutely committed to this outcome and we are working tirelessly to achieve it. Thank you.


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