President Donald Trump’s trade representative confirmed again Thursday that he considers Canada a national security threat “in the case of steel.”
As CTV News reports, Robert Lighthizer was appearing before a subcommittee of the Senate appropriations committee Thursday when he made the comments. Both Republican and Democratic senators peppered Lighthizer with questions and concerns about what they termed Trump’s “trade war” with Canada.
When asked if he believed that Canada was really a national security threat to the United States., Lighthizer replied, “In the case of steel, yes.”
The Trump administration has imposed heavy duties on Canadian steel and aluminium that have not proven popular with many Republican legislators. Canada has retaliated with a host of tariffs on U.S. goods.
Despite the accusation, the trade representative attempted to soften the blow by insisting that national security threat or not, Canada remained “one of America’s closest friends and trading partners.”
Lighthizer insisted the steel tariffs are meant to bolster domestic production and Canada can’t be an exception to this policy. He promised again a successful renegotiation of NAFTA would end the tariffs.
Trump continued to beat the trade drum on Thursday, telling farmers that there is much at stake for American workers.
“America never surrenders,” he said. “America is fighting back and we’re winning.”