In the fiscal year that ended September 30, the US government collected $34.6 billion in customs duties and fees. Canada and Mexico were initially exempt from the duties announced on March 8th, pending negotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement. In response, Trudeau retaliated with the announcement of $12.8 billion in tariffs on USA goods.
A 10 per cent tariff that Canada imposed on many USA -made retail goods will be levied at the wholesale level, but over time for products with no other substitutes, such as orange juice, this cost will trickle down to consumers, said Karl Littler, vice-president of public affairs for the Retail Council of Canada. The official cautioned that the President could change his mind before an official announcement.
"These tariffs are an affront to the long-standing security partnership between Canada and the United States, and in particular, to the thousands of Canadians who have fought and died alongside American comrades-in-arms", he said.
"And, in the case of the United Kingdom, where we send steel to the United States that is vital for their businesses and their defence industry, it is patently absurd".
'I'm sure there's gonna be a lot of discussions with all the leaders about these very points, ' he said of the broadside on trade that the president levied on Thursday when he allowed steel and aluminum tariffs to go into effect on Canada, Mexico and the European Union.
The EU and Canada have filed complaints at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in response, and the EU has also vowed to hit back with retaliatory tariffs on an array of U.S. products.
The extent of the direct damage, however, will depend on how the European Union answers to USA tariffs.
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"I would like to absolutely assure Canadians, particularly those who work in the steel and aluminium industries, that the government is absolutely prepared to and will defend Canadian industries and Canadian jobs", Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said earlier on Wednesday. "We will respond appropriately".
Trump has also asked the U.S. Commerce Department to look into imposing tariffs on imported cars, trucks and auto parts, arguing that they somehow pose a threat to U.S. national security.
In the unlikely event that it did try and tell the United States off, then Trump would just quit the WTO.
"With these tariffs, it's going to make the product too expensive for the consumers in Mexico and in Canada and in the EU", Colombini said.
Most economists - Trump's trade adviser Peter Navarro is a notable exception - say no. The United States rejected the offers.
"The unilateral action by the Trump administration severely damages that relationship". She spoke with him again later by telephone, but left the USA capital on Wednesday morning empty-handed.
"Canada in North America is increasingly looking to the U.S.as a competitor as opposed to a trade ally", MacKay said.