OTTAWA, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Canada said on Tuesday it would extend for two more months a Washington-imposed deadline to restrict its border, hours after the United States proposed the same length of time for blocking imports of steel and aluminum.
Canada said that by the end of October, it would start to allow imports of steel pipes from North America, a move the United States has sought to implement unilaterally as it has tried to impose curbs on aluminum imports.
The three countries signed an accord on their shared border last year when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced plans to begin legal trade talks.
The Canadian government said that it remained committed to ending an “inhumane and unjust trade regime” that keeps Canadian steel pipes, many of which are used in commercial vessels, from reaching U.S. ports.
“Our view is that the 2018 FTA/Agreement reached in June 2018 has been duly signed, ratified and implemented, and is a crucial and powerful success,” the Canadian ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.“As such, it is essential that we immediately respond to the United States’ latest proposal.”
Last week, the Trump administration proposed excluding Canada from steel and aluminum imports until Jan. 3, and blocking imports of Canadian steel pipes until June 30, 2018.