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Trump Backs Steel And Aluminium Tariffs, Hits Out At Canada

US President Donald Trump has hit out at Canada on Twitter over trade tariffs.

What you need to know
  • The Trump administration has announced new trade tariffs to hit major trading partners
  • The tariffs on steel and aluminum will hit Mexico, Canada and the European Union
  • Trump has defended the tariffs after criticism from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

US President Donald Trump has doubled down on his pledge to slug allies with tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, hitting out at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's opposition to the plan on Twitter.

Trump is imposing hefty tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada, Mexico and the European Union -- three of America's largest trading partners. The trade measures have reportedly already taken effect.

In the wake of the Trump administration's announcement, Mexico, the EU and Canada have signaled their plans to retaliate with their own tariffs against American products.

Canada has even reportedly launched court action against the US at the World Trade Organisation over the tariffs, which it said damage “the integrity of the global trading system".

Trudeau was quick to criticise the plan, telling media that Canada has a $2 billion surplus on steel with the US.

"The reason I don’t know [what he wants] is because he’s talked about the fact that he’s worried about trade surpluses, trade deficits around the world," Trudeau said. "Well they have a 2 billion surplus on steel with us. So it’s not like trade is imbalanced against the US."

Trump was quick to hit back, using Twitter to attack Canada's "restrictive" trade policy against the US and its impact on the nation's agriculture sector.

The trade war ramp-up follows Trump saying the on-again off-again summit between the US and North Korea is back on, with US President set to meet Kim Jong-Un this month.

Trump said he would hold talks with the renegade North Korean leader on June 12 in Singapore after he met with a senior adviser from the rogue state in the White House ahead of the summit, which would be historic if it goes ahead.

The announcement from Trump comes after the North Korean diplomat, Kim Yong-chol, delivered a letter to the President in Washington and stayed for over an hour for a meeting at the oval office.

“We are going to deal and we are really going to start a process,” Trump told media on Friday. “Remember what I say, we will see what we will see.”

Trump said that that he spoke with the North Korean envoy, a former spy chief, about sanctions on the reclusive regime. He added that the two nations did not expect to sign any deal at the Singapore summit.

“I look forward to the day I can take the sanctions off North Korea,” Trump said, despite not making it clear whether he had actually read the letter.

After the meeting, Trump posed for photos with Yong-chol on the White House lawns, and they chatted at Kim's black SUV before he was driven away.

Yong-chol is a former high-ranking spy who has been on a watch list for the US. Homeland security officials had to get a waiver to get him into the country and another waiver to get to Washington.

The proposed meeting between North Korea's reclusive leader and Trump comes a week after the planned summit was called off, which some experts have attributed to a lack of agreement over nuclear disarmament.