Canada hits back at USA with own tariffs


It's all part of Ottawa's plan to strike back at the response to hefty steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump several weeks ago.

Canada's retaliatory tariffs, effective on 1 July, largely target United States steel and aluminum products, along with food stuffs such as coffee, ketchup and whisky, according to a list released by Canada's Finance Department.

Justin Trudeau's government will apply a 25 per cent tariff on steel products, and 10 per cent on aluminium and consumer goods.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland will reveal the final list of USA products that will be slapped with retaliatory tariffs starting Canada Day in an announcement later today.

Canada has chose to impose a tariff of 25% on a host of steel and aluminium products and 10% on goods, including pizza, quiche, whiskies, toilet paper and inflatable boats.

Freeland said Canada is prepared if US President Donald Trump escalates the trade war.

Ottawa's unprecedented reprisal against its closest ally comes in response to the Trump administration's punishing tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum.

"The tariffs introduced by the United States on Canadian steel and aluminum are protectionist and illegal under WTO and NAFTA rules, the very rules that the United States helped to write", Freeland said.

The source, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the situation, said Freeland will announce the aid and reveal a list of USA goods that Canada intends to subject to retaliatory tariffs. These tariffs will take effect on Sunday.

Last week, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross expressed concerns about the world's overproduction and overcapacity of steel, saying the U.S. tariffs against Canada and other allies are created to force them into action.

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"We will not escalate and we will not back down", Freeland told reporters in announcing the tariffs. She also filed a separate complaint under the North American Free Trade Agreement, arguing the the US tariffs are "completely unacceptable" and "illegal".

At the end of May, the Trump administration imposed a 25 percent tariff on European Union steel and 10 percent tariff on aluminum.

The support measures are meant to help Canadian firms manage the tariffs as well as innovate for the future, he said. "I think all of us, at this point, fully anticipate there will be some moments of drama in the future".

The ministers highlighted the $2 billion USA annual trade surplus on iron and steel products with Canada, and doubled down on calling the national security argument-the reason given by the US for imposing tariffs-as "inconceivable and completely unacceptable".

Overall, Ujczo said Canada's retaliatory tariffs have been baked into the White House's calculus for months.

The Trudeau government's decision to stand up to Trump with retaliatory measures has attracted wide support in Canada. In addition, the government will help affected workers through the Employment Insurance program. Yes, it makes the story seem a bit silly when you learn the USA exports canoes and maple syrup into Canada.

Increasing funding to the provinces and territories to increase the capacity of the job and training programs available to workers affected by the US measures. "That includes new extended work-sharing, to help employers avoid layoffs, and increased capacity for job and skills training programs for any workers who need them". The product will now be hit with a 10 per cent duty.

Nevertheless, the funding to help companies build new markets for their products "could be just the kick in the trousers companies need", he added.

Another $250 million will be assigned through the Strategic Innovation Fund to bolster the competitiveness of Canadian manufacturers and better integrate aluminum and steel supply chains.

On the campaign trail this week, Trump continued his attacks on Canadian dairy, wheat and duty-free customs allowances for Canadians returning home, saying they were scuffing up brand new shoes in order to sneak them in.