Ottawa (AFP) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday that a border tax proposed by the US government would be "bad" for both Canada and the United States.
"Without a doubt, a border tax would be bad, not just for Canada, but for the United States as well," the prime minister told a news conference in Houston, Texas, where he gave a keynote address at a gathering of oil executives.
The tax proposed by the US Congress as part of sweeping new trade and fiscal initiatives would apply to imports into the United States.
US President Donald Trump has said he would prefer tariffs that target specific countries which he has accused of trading unfairly, such as China and Mexico.
"I think that we're a long way from (the border tax) being adopted and as I said we still don't know exactly what form it will take," or how it would affect Canada, Trudeau said.
He noted Canada and the United States's highly integrated economies
"I think that anything that creates extra barriers or impediments to the smooth flow of goods will hurt our businesses and will hurt our workers and will limit our capacity to continue to be extraordinarily competitive as a North American entity on the world stage," he said.
Asked about US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross's announcement that Washington would launch the formal process to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada "in the next couple of weeks," Trudeau said the end result must be a win for all involved.
"One of the things that we always emphasize and we look for as a country is not a zero-sum gain," he said.