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Ontario premier-designate Ford to meet with industry reps on NAFTA

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Premier-designate Doug Ford will meet with industry representatives today to discuss NAFTA negotiations as the trade talks appear increasingly troubled.

The meeting comes just days after Ford said he stands “shoulder to shoulder” with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who was the subject of a Twitter tirade from U.S. President Donald Trump over the weekend.

Trump called Trudeau “weak and dishonest” after the G7 summit in Quebec on Sunday, apparently angered over comments the prime minister made during a press conference when he objected to American tariffs imposed on steel and aluminum last month.

Ford said Sunday that his top priority is to protect jobs in Ontario, including those of steel and aluminum workers in the province.

Trump has also taken issue with Canada’s supply management system for dairy farmers and threatened to imposed 25 per cent tariffs on auto imports from Canada, a move that would hurt Ontario’s manufacturing sector.

On Thursday, Ford will sit down with Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Canadian ambassador to the United States David MacNaughton for a briefing on the NAFTA talks.