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.
"But I should stress that overcapacity of the steel industry is a global issue and can not be resolved by any single party alone", Lu told a regular press briefing.
Trump last week rolled out tariffs on steel and aluminum but said Canada and Mexico will be excluded and long-term exemptions would be based on the results of NAFTA negotiations.
"We know the tremendous effort that steel and aluminum workers put in every day to provide for their families, support their communities, and build businesses that are competitive in the global market".
The White House said in a statement Monday evening that Trudeau and Trump had spoken by phone regarding the steel and aluminum tariff announcement from last week.
The American administration has expressed a desire to get a NAFTA deal in a hurry and some prominent members have been suggesting that the threat of steel and aluminum tariffs might prod the negotiations along.
The Canadian prime minister also said during the interview that United States exemptions to tariffs were not a "magical favor being done".
The proclamation instead pointed to economic integration between the U.S., Canada and Mexico, the fact the U.S. also exports steel to both Canada and Mexico, and the three countries' shared commitment to national security and addressing global excess capacity in steel production.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday sought to reassure steel and aluminum workers anxious about possible U.S tariffs, telling them the government would always have their backs. Marie, Ont., and Regina, Sask. While the penalties take effect later this month, Trump has encouraged countries to try negotiating exemptions for themselves.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he has an array of measures, including tariffs, to prevent the world's producers of cheap steel from using Canada as a back door to slip the metal into the United States.
Trump's eagerness to seal the deal of NAFTA came months after the U.S. and Canada were on the loggerheads on this issue.
"On our end we are going to vigorously defend supply management", Couillard said, adding Quebec's farmers have already given up market share for other recently negotiated trade deals.