Freeland to meet Lighthizer in Washington to push for tariff removal

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is bound for Washington to meet with Trump trade czar Robert Lighthizer in a renewed push to get punitive steel and aluminum tariffs lifted.

The meeting at the United States Trade Representative's Washington office is expected to take place on Wednesday.

The meeting comes after a pair of telephone calls on consecutive days late last week between President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in which the controversial 25-per-cent duty on Canadian steel imports and 10-per-cent levy on aluminum was a major subject of conversation.

Freeland has said she's heartened by the recent comments of American lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who say the new North American trade agreement that includes Mexico can't be ratified with the ``Section 232'' tariffs in place.

Trump imposed the tariffs almost one year ago under a controversial provision of U.S. law that gives the president that authority on the grounds of national security.

Freeland, Trudeau and others in the government have derided the tariffs as absurd, illegal and insulting.