'Potential carve-outs' for Canada, Mexico on tariffs, White House suggests

The White House says Canada and Mexico could yet be spared from U.S. President Donald Trump's controversial steel and aluminum tariffs.

Spokswoman Sarah Sanders says the two U.S. neighbours might get what she calls a ''carve-out'' for reasons of national security, and says other allies might also ask for one, on a case-by-case basis.

There's a final scramble on to spare Canada from the impact of the U.S. tariff plan, which could be announced as early as Thursday.

Intense debates have been going on within the Trump administration about whether to offer any exemptions: some argue that Canada and Mexico should get relief at least as long as NAFTA is being negotiated.

In New York, Washington and Texas, a number of Canadian officials have been reaching out to American peers, some of whom have been pleading the Canadian case.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has just spoken with congressional leader Paul Ryan and Canadian Ambassador David MacNaughton was to dine tonight with U.S. national security adviser H.R. McMaster.