President Trump defended his decision to impose steep aluminum and steel tariffs on Canada and Mexico, saying the U.S. can “no longer be the stupid country.”
“Canada is not going to take advantage of the United States any longer, and Mexico is not going to take advantage of the United States any longer,” Trump told an audience at the National Federation of Independent Business’ 75th anniversary celebration.
The president announced late last month he would be imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union after initially exempting them from the levies. The three U.S. allies face a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum.
Trump, who didn’t mention the E.U., claimed Tuesday that because of Canada’s high tariffs, Canadians were coming into the U.S. and “smuggling things back” to avoid the duties.
“The tariffs to get common items back into Canada are so high that they have to smuggle them in. They buy shoes, then they wear them,” he said. “They scuff them up. They make them sound old or look old. No, we’re treated horribly.”
He also said Canadians “like to talk,” while calling Canada “our great neighbor.”
“They fought World War II with us. We appreciate it. They fought World War I with us, and we appreciate it,” he said, “but we’re protecting each other.”
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