Canada Strikes Back at Trump: $12 Billion of Tariffs Come Into Force

01 July, 2018, 16:46 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • Chrystia Freeland

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland announced the final measures on Friday, saying that they would take effect on Canada's July 1 national holiday. Some items will be subject to taxes of 10 or 25 percent.

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.

The federal support package includes similar measures to those offered by Ottawa past year in response US duties on softwood lumber products from Canada.

Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump spoke late Friday.

In announcing which USA products would be slapped with either a 25 per cent or 10 per cent surtax, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland asserted that Canada "will not back down".

"It is a reciprocal action. Unions welcome the Canadian government's rapid response in defense of Canadian workers as an important first step in protecting workers and communities who will be adversely affected by this misguided attack on Canadian industry", said CLC President Hassan Yussuff. "We are perfectly within our rights to respond".

Freeland said she spoke six times this week to U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerMcConnell urges GOP senators to call Trump about tariffs Companies brace for trade war MORE about the impending tariffs that will hit a wide range of U.S. products.

Freeland said tariffs on cars would be "absolutely absurd". "It would change the calculus", he said.

Canada and Mexico were initially exempted from the United States steel and aluminum tariffs but Trump ended this in July amid stalled talks to revamp a 1994 trilateral trade deal.

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Ottawa also unveiled Can$2 billion (US$1.5 billion) in aid for the two sectors and their 33,500 workers.

After the European Union unveiled similar retaliatory tariffs, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer earlier this week lashed out calling them groundless and illegal.

Since then, the Tories have launched their own "defend local jobs tour", to hear from workers and businesses impacted by the tariffs and threats of further trade action; while the NDP got unanimous consent from all sides in the House of Commons to pass a motion backing Canadian steel, aluminum, and supply management sectors, while condemning "disparaging ad-hominem statements by USA officials".

In a separate filing, Toyota Motor Corp said imposing tariffs on the auto industry imports would "threaten U.S. manufacturing, jobs, exports, and economic prosperity".

"I think that prediction has been borne out and I think all of us anticipate there will be some moments of drama in the future".

"Faced with these unjustified tariffs, the United States will take all necessary actions under both US law and global rules to protect its interests", he said in the statement.

Freeland said an "intensive phase" of NAFTA renegotiations will resume quickly after Sunday's elections in Mexico.

"The prime minister and the government have been very diligent about meeting with groups that could be impacted by trade", he says, "reassuring them that in the event that there is a major impact, there will be either trade actions or other types of relief provided".

Our federal government is hoping Americans, particularly Republican politicians, won't be laughing when they realize their state will be hit hard by the tariffs that will increase the price of their products in the Canadian market. "Candidly, the Canadian retaliation is a drop in the bucket compared to the retaliation that we're going to see from China and elsewhere".

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