The president has since said that Canada will be exempt from the tariffs, but has also hinted that the reprieve may only be temporary.
"But I should stress that overcapacity of the steel industry is a global issue and can not be resolved by any single party alone", Lu told a regular press briefing.
The steel tariff threat was seen by many to be an attempt by the Trump administration to pressure Canada and Mexico to complete the NAFTA talks - giving in to other US demands or giving up some of their own -rather than risk the punishing steel and aluminum duties. "While we are grateful that our trading partners, Canada and Mexico, are now exempt, it is our view that these tariffs will quickly become a tax on the fix and maintenance of vehicles, a tax that will ultimately be paid for in higher fix prices by the American auto owner".
China is Canada's second-largest trading partner after the United States.
"We made the. true point that the integration of our steel and aluminum market is so intense across the Canada-U.S. border that millions of jobs on both sides of the border depend on continued smooth flow of trade", he said.
Following the close of the seventh round of negotiations last week in Mexico, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the U.S. wants to get a deal done in the next four to six weeks.
Trudeau's view has prominent support: A newly released poll of leading economists organized by the University of Chicago has found rare unanimity on the topic, with zero per cent of economists surveyed saying they believe tariffs will help Americans.
"We're going to ensure that Canadian steel is Canadian steel", he said at Dofasco, where he also promised unspecified measures to better protect workers' pensions where companies go under, downsize substantially, or are otherwise bought out.
We urge the administration to reconsider this action and continue investigating the impact of steel and aluminum tariffs on the USA economy and steel-consuming sectors downstream.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is heading to Canadian steel country this week on a three-day tour created to shore up the industry.
Other stops will include Hamilton, Sault Ste. Marie and then he is off to Regina. While the penalties take effect later this month, Trump has encouraged countries to try negotiating exemptions for themselves.
The prime minister has been touring communities across the country with a major stake in aluminum and steel production.