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Trudeau government plans to pressure U.S. on tariffs at meetings in Washington

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responds to questions during a news conference following a cabinet retreat in Sherbrooke, Que. on Friday, January 18, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)

Justin Trudeau says his government will address U.S. tariffs on steel, aluminum any time there are high-level meetings

Conservatives say money from Canada's retaliatory tariffs on U.S. aren't going to those in need fast enough

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – The Trudeau government will be addressing the ongoing steel and aluminum tariffs as the foreign affairs minister meets with counterparts in Washington.

The main reason of the trip for Chrystia Freeland is to address the next steps in the fight against ISIS.

However, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says any time there is a high level meeting south of the border, his government uses the opportunity to pressure the Americans to end tariffs on steel and aluminum.

“Putting up barriers, particularly barriers based on national security that are hurting workers in the United States and communities across the United States, is not something that we need to do. We’re going to keep working to stand up for our steel and aluminum workers.”

While the U.S. congress delays ratification of the USMCA trade deal, President Donald Trump has kept steel and aluminum tariffs in place, causing strain for the industry.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives are criticizing Trudeau over the retaliatory tariffs against the U.S.

The Trudeau government has promised $2-billion in aid and has so far collected nearly $1-billion from our retaliatory measures.

Conservative Deputy Leader Lisa Raitt says only a fraction of the aid money has made it to the companies and workers who need the help.

“That money that’s set aside should really go to the people who are in pain.”

The government says it is processing the applications for aid and working hard to get the cash flowing as quickly as possible.

“A lot of industry leaders, quite understandably, want the money right now,” Parliamentary Secretary Andrew Leslie says. “There’s a certain amount of process, though, that we have to go through to get the money out the door.”