Ontario Premier Doug Ford, centre, speaks to reporters as Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, right, and New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs look on during a meeting of Canada’s premiers in Montreal, Thursday, December 6, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)

Premiers call for end to tariffs, reboot on Canada-U.S. relationship

Three of Canada’s premiers to meet with members of the Trump administration in Washington.

Three of Canada’s premiers are in Washington to press the Trump administration for an end to punishing U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from north of the border.

Ontario’s Doug Ford is with Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs for meetings with diplomats and U.S. officials, including trade czar Robert Lighthizer, to make their own case for an end to the tariff standoff between the two countries.

READ MORE: U.S. tariffs on steel, aluminum could be gone in weeks, ambassador says

Ford’s government has urged Ottawa to show goodwill and drop its retaliatory tariffs on $16.6 billion worth of American imports, but the Ontario premier says he’s heard from steel industry officials who don’t want to see that happen.

In a morning panel discussion with the website Politico, the premier avoided being pinned down on whether he has abandoned the idea of extending an olive branch to the White House.

All three premiers are also anxious to see the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement ratified as soon as possible, but say they don’t want that to happen in Parliament until the tariffs have been lifted.

Canada’s ambassador to the United States David MacNaughton now says he believes the U.S. tariffs could be gone in a matter of weeks, but he won’t provide details on why he sees light at the end of the tunnel.

The Canadian Press

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