Trudeau kicks off steel tour

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has begun a cross-country tour of aluminum and steel factories with a visit to Quebec's Saguenay region.

Trudeau is meeting this morning with stakeholders in the aluminum industry in the region about 250 kilometres north of Quebec City.

Other stops will include Hamilton, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and Regina.

Both industries are facing uncertainty after U.S. President Donald Trump slapped steel and aluminum tariffs on the rest of the world last week.

Canada and Mexico were temporarily exempted from the tariffs, but Trudeau said this morning he is working hard to safeguard Canadian jobs and ensure there are no trade barriers between the two countries.

The prime minister said the steel and aluminum industries face real challenges, including concerns about global overcapacity.

"I want you to know that myself, my team and everyone across the country will be there to defend your interests," he told the stakeholders as he was flanked by Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard.

Canada is the United States' largest provider of steel and aluminum, with about 85 per cent of Canadian exports being directed to that country.

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