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In a letter submitted to President Trump, the Auto Care Association urged the administration to reconsider imposing tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum due to unintended negative consequences it may have on the US economy and the auto care industry.

Prior to announcing the exemption, Trump said he would lift the tariffs off of Canada and Mexico only if a new NAFTA deal were signed.

The Canadian prime minister also said during the interview that U.S. exemptions to tariffs were not a "magical favor being done".

The steel tariff investigation was launched to see the impact of steel imports on USA national security.

U.S. President Donald Trump greets Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., October 11, 2017.

Trump previously explained that he will be flexible on certain countries based on relations in the area of defense, including the amount of money they contribute to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. But relative to bigger industries such as agriculture and auto manufacturing, the steel sector only employs 22,000 direct jobs and represented 2 percent of exports previous year.

"There is no national security argument to be made against Canada", Trudeau said.

Trudeau's comments came during a tour of Canadian steel-producing towns, where he is showing support for workers in the industry.

He asked after their families and how they had been coping with the possibility of USA tariffs that he had repeatedly said would have a devastating impact in Canada.

He will follow that up by speaking to steel industry leaders at the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel during a round table discussion.

"We're going to ensure that Canadian steel is Canadian steel", he said at Dofasco, where he also promised unspecified measures to better protect workers' pensions where companies go under, downsize substantially, or are otherwise bought out.

Asked again about Trump's approach, if the tariffs are a negotiating tactic by Trump, Trudeau again moved past the potential threat.

But both Mexico and Canada have rejected Trump's linkage of the levies to the ongoing NAFTA talks.