WH: ‘Strong Relations’ with Canada, Mexico, EU Will Continue Despite Tariffs

By Melanie Arter | June 4, 2018 | 8:54 PM EDT

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Screenshot)

(CNSNews.com) - The White House on Monday defended President Donald Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on the European Union, Canada, and Mexico, saying the U.S. has strong relations with them and that will continue despite the tariffs.

When asked to respond to criticism from Republicans about the tariffs and how Trump can reassure those complaining about it, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “Imposing the 232 tariffs protect the steel and aluminum industries because they're very critical to our national security.

“And for months, the United States has had discussions with Canada, Mexico, and the EU to find an alternative. Without an alternative solution, tariffs are the only measures appropriate to safeguard the country,” Sanders said.

“We have strong relations with Mexico, Canada, and the EU, and will continue -- and those will continue, even though the tariffs are there,” she said.

As to the status of tariffs on China and whether the administration still plans to move ahead with the June 15th deadline, Sanders said, “President Trump is taking steps to continue to reform the dysfunctional trade system that currently harms American workers and businesses, and the president is taking steps to protect U.S. technology and intellectual property from China's discriminatory and burdensome trade practices. We're going to continue in those negotiations.”

Sanders pointed reporters to a statement she released Monday morning, which said:

“Over the weekend, Administration officials, led by Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, concluded a series of meetings in Beijing with a delegation from the government of China, as part of ongoing trade discussions. The meetings focused on reducing the United States’ trade deficit by facilitating the supply of agricultural and energy products to meet China’s growing consumption needs, which will help support growth and employment in the United States,” she said in a statement.

“The United States officials conveyed President Donald J. Trump’s clear goal for achieving a fair trading relationship with China. The delegations will now report back to receive guidance on the path forward,”’ Sanders added.

When asked what in the tariffs that were imposed against Canada on aluminum and steel reinforces the United States’ national security, Sanders said, “The president feels strongly that the steel and aluminum industries are critical to our national security and our ability to protect ourselves, and that would be that reference point in the 232.”

 


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