Friday, 20 July, 2018

Canada announces billions in retaliatory tariffs against US

In a tit-for-tat response to the Trump administration's duties on Canadian steel and aluminum Canada said they Canada retaliates against US trade policies with tariffs on nearly $13 billion in US imports
Kenneth Drake | 30 June, 2018, 16:04

Canada on Friday announced billions of dollars in retaliatory tariffs against the United States in response to President Donald Trump's hefty tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, AP reported.

President Trump's tariffs on Canadian products and attacks against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have prompted the mayor of Ottawa, the country's capital and fourth-largest city, to skip an invite-only Fourth of July party being held at the US ambassador's residence next week.

Earlier in the day the federal government unveiled an updated list of US products that are about to be slapped with tariffs while promising to spend up to $2 billion to protect steel, aluminum and manufacturing jobs on this side of the border in the wake of a burgeoning trade war with the U.S.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland also announced $2 billion in funding to support workers and businesses in the steel, aluminum and manufacturing sectors. Some items will be subject to taxes of 10 or 25 percent.

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

The source did not say which steel and aluminum firms would be in line for help.

"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.

Instead, Canada is trying to make political life uncomfortable for Trump through the retaliatory tariffs that cover an eclectic mix of products, literally from soup to nuts (of the metal kind). At the time, he lamented what he framed as a necessity to strike back at Canada's largest trading partner, and called the USA tariffs "an affront" to a country whose soldiers have fought and died alongside Americans.

It's not known how much of that money will come to Alberta (our steel exports to the United States are worth about $500 million compared to about $7 billion for all of Canada).

"We will not back down", she told the audience of steelworkers and officials.


Trump is also threatening to impose tariffs on Canadian autos, which would cause significantly more economic harm.

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

Bilous acknowledged that both sides get hurt by tariffs but said countermeasures are a necessary step. "I think all of us, at this point, fully anticipate there will be some moments of drama in the future".

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.

Overall, Ujczo said Canada's retaliatory tariffs have been baked into the White House's calculus for months. The product will now be hit with a 10 per cent duty.

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

Increasing funding to the provinces and territories to increase the capacity of the job and training programs available to workers affected by the USA measures.

Through its strategic innovation fund, Ottawa is also offering up to $250 million in support in an effort to reinforce the competitiveness of Canadian manufacturers and strengthen the integration of Canada's steel and aluminum supply chain. The aim is to help businesses retain skilled workers and avoid layoffs during any rough patches ahead.

"The United States is acting as a bully to a smaller country, and I think it would be hypocritical of me to sort of show up and accept their hospitality and free food and so on, when we are in the midst of this trade dispute that is going to have serious ramifications for the entire country and employment in this city", Mr. Watson told CTV earlier in the week, HuffPost reported. They've given the president a long leash and will continue to do so.

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