"In the case of Canada and Mexico, our objective is to have a new NAFTA and once we do that, which I'm cautiously optimistic on, the tariffs won't apply to them", Mnuchin told lawmakers at the House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government. Canada's Global Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland reiterated, during her own NAFTA statement, "Canada will take appropriate responsive measures to defend its trade interests and workers". Trudeau called Trump on Monday to stress his concerns about the tariffs, officials said. Trudeau himself called Trump on Tuesday.
Neither Canada nor Mexico signaled it would change course. No one at the embassy was immediately available for comment.
The trip comes during a big week in trade: International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne signed Canada onto the 11-member nation Trans-Pacific Partnership in Chile, then flies to Paraguay to launch free trade talks with the Mercosur trading bloc - the second-biggest in the Western Hemisphere after NAFTA, including South America's two biggest economies, Brazil and Argentina.
The Liberal government's approach is largely backed across the political and business spectrum but pressure is building to abandon the measured tone. Without NAFTA, tariffs will increase the cost of USA goods for Canadian and Mexican firms, making chemicals and plastic products from China more affordable and attractive.
Even though the TN visa program does not comport with President Trump's policy of "Buy American, Hire American", reports have surfaced that Lighthizer is not addressing it in negotiations, and administration officials who urged him to have been sidelined. In a few months, the Trump administration could face a more hostile Congress, and a more combative Mexican president. To complete NAFTA 2.0, he said the countries need agreement on roughly 30 chapters.
Labor too, is demanding more action.
"What are we supposed to do?" "So far, after seven months we have completed just six".
Trump held a news conference to announce the tariffs for the rest of the world will go into effect in 15 days.
Trading partners such as the European Union (EU) and China have already threatened retaliatory measures against iconic items such as Levi's jeans, (as well as Harley Davidson motorcycles, Bourbon whisky and peanut butter).
The term NORAD refers to the North American Aerospace Command, in charge of governing aerospace issues such as air sovereignty, air defence, and related subjects between the United States and Canada. "It's pointless talking in public about the ways you might retaliate until you have to act", said a second source familiar with the issue who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "We're comfortable with the economic impact", he said of the tariffs. "It just irritates the president".