The prime minister has been touring communities across the country with a major stake in aluminum and steel production.
The steel tariff threat was seen by many to be an attempt by the Trump administration to pressure Canada and Mexico to complete the NAFTA talks - giving in to other US demands or giving up some of their own -rather than risk the punishing steel and aluminum duties.
China is Canada's second-largest trading partner after the United States.
"The challenge (the United States) faces is that we're there at the table, we're contributing but we're not just going to be bowled over by them", he added.
"We're pushing back a little bit on some of the things we think might not be the right. suggestions, which is is what people would expect".
"We're standing up for ourselves".More news: ASUS ZenFone 5 Max specs revealed on Geekbench
Trudeau also rejected the idea that the tariff exemption was some kind of benevolent American favour that required repayment.
Steelworkers, Ferguson says, asked about pension protections and outlined the problems they've experienced because of the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act process.
Canada's union bureaucracy has systematically promoted nationalism for more than three decades as a means of smothering the class struggle and dividing Canadian workers from their class allies in the U.S. and internationally.
Other stops will include Hamilton, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan in an attempt to mitigate any tariffs.
Trudeau launched a cross-country tour of steel and aluminum mills this week in light of potential tariffs on the metals being imposed by the USA government, even though Canada and Mexico were granted a temporary exemption from the tariffs last week by President Donald Trump.
Canada, the top supplier of steel and aluminum to the USA markets, and Mexico have been temporarily exempted from the tariffs until trilateral continental trade talks conclude.More news: Vivo V9 teased in video, specifications, price leak ahead of official launch
Trudeau also expressed optimism about reaching a good North American free-trade agreement that will benefit Canada as well as the US and Mexico - despite Trump's constant refrain that the current deal is a bad one.
Trudeau says Canada will not flinch in its support for workers and he hopes the threat of USA tariffs can be solved in a friendly way.
During his earlier visits to factories in Saguenay, Que., and Hamilton, Trudeau repeated his message that the national security argument the US has made when it comes to tariffs makes no sense and could not apply to Canada.
In Trudeau's view, the USA wasn't just helping Canada - it helped itself by refraining from slapping tariffs on its No. 1 supplier of both steel and aluminum.
It was their first conversation since Trump last week imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, raising trade tensions.More news: Snapchat Apologizes To Rihanna Over Advert Trivializing Domestic Abuse