Trudeau: Trump tariffs 'are an affront' to Canadian soldiers who 'fought and died' alongside Americans

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took aim at President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job MORE on Thursday over his implementation of steel and aluminum tariffs against Canada and other nations.

At a press conference Thursday, the Canadian leader issued some of his strongest remarks against the Trump administration's trade policies to date.

"Let me be clear: These tariffs are totally unacceptable," Trudeau said. "Canadians have served alongside Americans in two world wars and in Korea. From the beaches of Normandy to the mountains of Afghanistan, we have fought and died together."

ADVERTISEMENT

Noting that Canada purchases more U.S. steel than any other nation, Trudeau lambasted the Trump administration for initiating the tariffs under the guise of confronting a threat to national security.

"Canada is a secure supplier of aluminum and steel to the U.S. defense industry, putting aluminum in American planes and steel in American tanks," Trudeau said. "That Canada could be considered a national security threat to the United States is inconceivable."

"These tariffs are an affront to the long-standing security partnership between Canada and the United States, and in particular, to the thousands of Canadians who have fought and died alongside American comrades-in-arms," he finished.

Trudeau's comments came alongside a report from Bloomberg News stating that Canada's trade officials had announced retaliatory tariffs on steel and aluminum, which the country says will stay in place as long as the U.S. policies remain.

Other nations affected by the tariffs reacted with similar anger and confusion on Thursday.

Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, vowed alongside Canada to propose reciprocal tariffs in response, while Japan's Shinzo Abe declared that his country could not "accept" the new measures.

"The U.S. leaves us no choice but to proceed with a WTO [World Trade Organization] dispute settlement case and the imposition of additional duties on a number of U.S. imports," Juncker said.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossSupreme Court to hear census citizenship case this term Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers press officials on 2020 election security | T-Mobile, Sprint execs defend merger before Congress | Officials charge alleged Iranian spy | Senate panel kicks off talks on data security bill Apple, IBM, Walmart join White House advisory board MORE said Thursday that despite the U.S. decision to end tariff exemptions for Canada, Mexico and the European Union, U.S. officials hope that "continued negotiations" would bring a resolution to the issues.

“We look forward to continued negotiations with Canada and Mexico on one hand and with the European Commission on the other hand, as there are other issues we need to get resolved,” Ross told reporters on a conference call.