‘Will not back down’: Canada imposes billions in retaliatory tariffs against US

President Trump meets with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the G-7 summit in Charlevoix Canada

Canada's steel producers recognize that our customers already feel the impacts of these unacceptable USA tariffs.

The latter move is seen as a major threat to Canadian growth and to the North American auto sector, since U.S. carmakers rely heavily on supply chains that include its two neighbours.

The federal government is bracing for a long trade dispute with the US government on steel and aluminum, offering up to $2-billion in financial aid to companies affected by recent USA tariffs on their exports. That might change with the prospect of auto tariffs, though she stated that she hopes common sense would prevail.

One week ago, EU retaliatory tariffs on USA goods came into force following United States taxes on European steel.

Business groups said Friday it was too early to know the impact until licensing and other rules are released.

Most Canadian politicians, including those in Alberta, support the federal government's retaliatory tariffs as a way of standing up for Canadian jobs.

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 US officials". He is also threatening to impose another national security-based tariff on imported cars, trucks and auto parts.




Canada's Freeland called the idea of auto tariffs "absolutely absurd". A WTO official said Friday that the organisation has not heard from the United States about reconsidering its membership. "Our approach is that we will not escalate, but equally, we will not back down", Freeland said.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland speaks to the press after meeting with members of The Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the US Capitol on June 13, 2018 in Washington, DC.

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".

Ottawa would take measures to stop the dumping of steel in the coming weeks once it had finished consulting stakeholders, said Canadian Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, appearing at the same event as Freeland. But domestic businesses, particularly those in the steel sector, have expressed deep concerns about any escalation in the trade battle. This means that products made in the US with Canadian aluminum or steel and sold back to Canada will now be heavily taxed by both nations. Steel and aluminum exports to the United States were worth €3.58 billion in 2017.

"We need to stand up for Alberta businesses, for workers".

"The measures announced today will help strengthen the competitiveness of Canada's steel and aluminum companies and contribute to economic growth while increasing the capacity of the industries to innovate, grow value added, support product and market diversification, and create and sustain jobs for Canadians". 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.

The government also plans to invest $50 million over five years to help firms take full advantage of recent trade agreements, including Canada's deal with the European Union and its membership in the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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