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P.E.I. premier supports Trudeau trade retaliation

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and U.S. President Donald Trump take part in a joint press conference at the White House in Washington, D.C. on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. 

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and U.S. President Donald Trump take part in a joint press conference at the White House in Washington, D.C. on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. -File THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick - SaltWire Network

Premier Wade MacLauchlan publicly expressed his support in the legislature for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday, in the wake of the growing U.S.-Canada trade dispute following the weekend’s G7 summit.

MacLauchlan said he supported the Prime Minister’s retaliatory tariffs in response to U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum and called on opposition parties to join him in expressing support for the federal government.

MacLauchlan also took the opportunity to affirm his support for the supply management system in Canada’s dairy industry, which has been heavily attacked by members of the Trump administration.

"It is our position and, indeed, the position of the Prime Minister, that supply management must remain in place if NAFTA negotiations are going to come to a successful conclusion,” MacLauchlan said.

Related: Trump confused by Trudeau's 'pushed around' comment: 'We just shook hands!'

Opposition Leader James Aylward also expressed his support for Trudeau implementing retaliatory trade tariffs on U.S. goods. However, Aylward suggested the implementation of the tariffs should be fast-tracked.

"We've had American tariffs that have been put in overnight, Mr. Speaker. Here in Canada, our federal government is delaying putting tariffs in place until July 1st,” Aylward said.

Hannah Bell, the Green Party MLA from Charlottetown-Parkdale, said the cross-party support for the retaliatory tariffs was encouraging. However, she suggested the government should look at means of increasing trade and co-operation with other Atlantic Canadian provinces, in light of the looming trade spat with the U.S.

“That co-operation to reduce costs, find efficiencies and open up trading within our own region will benefit not just small and medium enterprises, but the region overall," Bell said.

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