Skip to main content

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Friday the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute is distracting from talks aimed at solving the steel tariffs issue between Canada and its largest trading partner.

The U.S. preoccupation with China row puts “multiple challenges on their plate,” Morneau said at an event in Montreal. “That means we’ve got a challenge in getting this focused on in the near term,” he said.

Morneau said his office is in contact daily with U.S. officials as well as metal producers and purchasers.

Story continues below advertisement

U.S. President Donald Trump slapped tariffs of 25 per cent and 10 per cent on steel and aluminum imports, respectively, from Canada in May, prompting retaliatory tariffs by Canada on $16.6-billion worth of U.S. goods.

Meanwhile, American tariffs against China have triggered a tit-for-tat trade war affecting hundreds of billions of dollars in goods over the past year.

Despite a 90-day ceasefire announced Thursday in which the two countries agreed to suspend tariff hikes and work toward a resolution, the Dec. 1 arrest of Chinese telecom Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer by Canadian authorities at the request of the U.S. Justice Department threatens to sour negotiations with Beijing.

Morneau’s remarks came at a separate event just hours after the first ministers’ conference kicked off two blocks away in downtown Montreal. Premiers Doug Ford and Francois Legault of Ontario and Quebec have said they plan to bring up concerns over tariffs, particularly in relation to the automotive and aerospace industries.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter