Ottawa ‘considering all measures’ after U.S. move to hike tariffs on Chinese EVs, says minister

Is Canada considering matching the US move to be in alignment with our biggest trading partner and a key player in this sector? While we're watching very carefully what the United States is doing, we have built one of the most amazing supply chain you've seen. Bloomberg rank Canada ahead of China for the battery ecosystem. We certainly want to protect that. We want to protect our Canadian workers. We want to protect the ecosystem we've built. You know Canada has always been being firm to make sure that there would be no backdoor to China and to into North America. So we're going to keep on on on defending that and I would say the record investment we've seen recently from on the the one from SA Cassie last month, I mean for me this is a testament, it's a vote of confidence in our Canadian workers and the Kitty eco system we've built. And let me just say, David, when I hear the Conservatives saying that they would not have supported that, I just want Canadians to understand if it was the Conservative, none of what we've seen recently would have happened. And therefore, I think that this is a a key message. We're going to keep building the kind of the future despite what others may believe, but certainly Canadian workers on our side. OK. But I wasn't asking about the Conservatives. I'm asking about the Democrat in the White House who who's, who's raising terrorists on, on Chinese, you know, exports of electric vehicles. And I'm wondering if Canada will match that or if you're concerned about Canada getting caught in a trade war between the two biggest economies on earth. No, I'm not concerned about that. We've always been very much In Sync with the United States of America. the United States is our largest trading partner. I was just in Nebraska last weekend or the one before. We're very aligned with the United States. You know, even the Americans, you know, treat things. When I go in the United States, they talk about it's always about security, supply chain resiliency and a growth vote agenda for North America. They know where Canada stands. We even got a shout out from the ranking member in the Senate Intelligence Committee when I blocked, when the government blocked the possible acquisition of three lithium mines by a Chinese entity. They know that. We understand that, that we want to make sure that what we have built, we have re industrialized North America to protect our workers, to protect our industry. And trust me, we're going to take all measures needed to make sure that we protect what we've done and and we're going to be working In Sync with the United States when we do that. But will you work In Sync with them, with these terrorists? Minister, is this something your government is considering? Is this something that's not on the table? We're we're considering all measures. Like I said, Canada has never been and will never be a backdoor to China in the North American market. And our US friends understand that this is very, very clear. We're very aligned when it comes to protecting our key supply chain, our intellectual property, our know how and protecting jobs in North America. They know that they have no better partner in the world who understand that that we need to protect our workers and protect our industry. They know where we stand. It's very clear. So we're going to be working with them and every measures we're going to be taking is to protect Canadian workers. OK. I just want to make sure I don't characterize what you're saying there misunderstand it. So Canada will consider or is considering matching the US tariffs on Ev's from China. Is that a fair characterization of what you've just said, Minister? Well, it's fair to say that everything is on the table to protect our industry and our workers and we're working In Sync with the United States of America. We're going to look that these tariffs just came in place. But like I said, they know where we stand very clearly. I was with, you know, Congress people last two weeks ago. I was with governors. They know that Canada is no backdoor to China and will never be. And therefore we're going to be working with them In Sync to make sure we protect our workers and our industry. That's always been the case and will always be the case. Do you feel extra pressure to be on side with the US on this given the Team Canada missions you and other cabinet ministers are leading to the United States? You just referenced your trip to Nebraska where you're trying to make sure Americans fully understand the importance of Canadian trade in a US election year. I mean, does that create extra pressure to be on side with policies like this when you're dealing with a rival in an adversary like China Now, I would not say there there's no pressure. I mean, what I'm doing is in the best interest of Canada and Canadian workers and Kenyan industry. By defending Canadian workers and by defending Canadian industry, we're defending North America's prosperity. And and that's in our best interest that our friends and the on the other side of the border understand that we need to have a growth agenda for North America. We need to make sure that we have more resilient supply chain. And I can tell you when you talk to to Democrats, they say these people are not in policy. When I talk to Republicans, they say we like that you talk business. They understand that, you know, at the time where there's a lot of turbulence around the world where you see inflation, cost of living and all that they need. They understand what we need, a North American agenda for prosperity, security and resiliency. That's what we're offering to our US partner. That's what they understand and this is in our best interest. Obviously as Canadians, the resilience of the supply chain, the security of the supply chain is a core priority. But also the government has set an electric vehicle sales target of 100% zero emission new light duty vehicle sales by 2035. Now, there's nothing in that target that says where those vehicles have to come from. How do you balance the possibility that cheaper electric vehicles from a country like China could help you hit that EV target here in Canada while also balancing your domestic industrial concerns? Well, I'm all for, you know, this is about protecting Canadian jobs, Canadian workers and Kenyan industry. You know that that is goal number one. We want to make sure, listen, we're not going to repeat what we've seen in the past where manufacturing is done in Asia where we, you know, we want to buy the vehicle that are made here in North America with allies and partners. And therefore, I think Canadians understand that we've been fighting really hard, David. When we started, people could not believe that Canada would be a key player. And now Bloomberg ranked Canada ahead of China when it comes to the battery supply chain. Over 30 years, we've built the industrial sector of the 21st century. And I think Canadians would be very proud to buy many, you know, cars that are manufactured here in North America, here in Canada. And that's what we're going to be fighting for. We have a chance that we seize the moment. We've been ambitious and now we have seen these record investments come in our country. We're going to. Certainly this is going to be prosperity and jobs for decades to come. We're going to protect that. Minister Francois Philippe Champagne. Thank you for your time today Sir.

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