Canada Finalizes Tariffs on U.S. Goods, Vows Aid for Workers

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Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland announced final measures Friday that take effect on Canada's July 1 national holiday.

TORONTO - Canada announced billions of dollars in retaliatory tariffs against the USA on Friday in a tit-for-tat response to the Trump administration's duties on Canadian steel and aluminum. They include duties on United States maple syrup, whiskey, orange juice, toilet paper, yogurt and ketchup. Some items will be subject to taxes of 10 or 25 percent.

The federal government has released its final retaliatory tariff list and is offering up to $2 billion in financial aid to the steel, aluminum and manufacturing industries.

Numerous goods were chosen to pack a political punch ahead of USA mid-term elections in November, targeting Republican-held states and congressional districts. The Trump administration is now considering adding tariffs on imports of cars from Canada, which Freeland called "absolutely absurd".

Aside from reciprocal tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the USA, the items to be subject to 10 per cent duties come from a wide range of sectors - from ketchup, to lawn mowers, to playing cards. The CSPA will continue to work with the Government on appropriate responses to this challenge, including safeguards where appropriate for a wide range of steel products.


Freeland has insisted that Canada introduced stronger safeguards on steel well before the USA imposed the tariffs.

Experts have said such a move would disrupt supply lines, throw the automobile industry into chaos and trigger an economic recession.

"In terms of job losses, my message is clear: we stand with Canadian workers and we're prepared to support Canadian workers if and when that happens", said Hajdu, the federal labour minister. Combined, they contribute $8.9 billion to the national DGP in 2017. Business people warned Canadian lawmakers this week that an escalation into an all-out trade war would be devastating to the Canadian economy, which sends about 75 percent of its exports to the US.

At €167 billion, machinery and vehicles were the largest European Union export category to the USA, accounting for 44.4 percent of goods exports.

Steel costs could rise further if Canada follows through on plans to impose tariffs and quotas on non-U.S. imports from China and other countries. These include typical American products like peanut butter, bourbon whiskey, Harley Davidson motorcycles, jeans and orange juice. Bilateral trade is worth around C$2 billion a day. The top services were in professional and management services, intellectual property, travel and education.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apparently reiterated that position to the president himself in a phone call on Friday. The auto tariffs would disrupt that.

Overall, Ujczo said Canada's retaliatory tariffs have been baked into the White House's calculus for months. If Trump steps up his attacks on Canada's economy and imposes a tariff on automobiles as threatened, it would lead to "carmageddon", Flavio Volpe, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association, told a Commons committee hearing on Tuesday.

"As he has said in past conversations and in public, the prime minister conveyed that Canada has had no choice but to announce reciprocal countermeasures to the steel and aluminum tariffs that the United States imposed on June 1, 2018", the readout stated.

Included are herbicides made in the United States, as well as motorboats, roasted coffee, mayonnaise and ballpoint pens.

"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.


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