Canada will not bend to U.S. steel tariff pressure in NAFTA talks, says Freeland

As the United States tries to light a fire under NAFTA negotiations, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says Canada will not be bullied or pressured by the United States as part of those talks.

Freeland is coming off a tense week as Canada and Mexico secured an exemption from new U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports with President Donald Trump, pending the outcome of the NAFTA discussions.

U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer said last week the pace of the talks is too slow and the U.S. wants them wrapped up in the next four to six weeks.

Experts suggest the steel tariff threats are a pressure tactic to get Canada to sign onto a quick NAFTA deal in order to avoid the punishing steel tariffs.

In an interview with CTV's Question Period, Freeland said Canada will not be pressured and that the American concerns about steel are related to national security and therefore have nothing to do with either Canada or NAFTA.

Freeland notes the official document on tariffs signed by Trump doesn't mention NAFTA negotiations, which she says is significant.