World Bulletin / News Desk
Canada struck back at U.S. tariffs Friday, announcing it will hit its largest trading partner with CAN$16.6 billion in retaliatory duties on U.S. goods entering Canada effective July 1.
The move was spurred by the imposition of metal tariffs earlier this year by the Trump administration.
Canada Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said that while Canada did not go looking for a trade war with America, it will not shy away from battle.
“In all ways we have been very restrained,” she said at a press conference in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada’s steel producing capital.
“Our approach is that we will not escalate, but equally, we will not back down.”
Freeland said the government will go tit-for-tat, matching U.S. tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum entering Canada. And Canada expanded the tariffs beyond metals.
The retaliatory tariffs that will be applied include more than 100 steel products and 19 aluminum goods.
As well, Canada expanded the tariffs to include 70 goods from the U.S. destined for the Canadian market. That includes whiskies, toiletries, chocolate and playing cards.
Freeland acknowledged that U.S. tariffs will cause financial pain – there are a combined 33,500 Canadian jobs in the two metal industries. They add CAN$8.9 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product annually.
To help offset the financial damage and worker hardship, Freeland said the Canadian government will provide $2 billion in assistance, including longer unemployment insurance terms and additional funding for job training in other industries for laid off workers.
But Freeland has not given up on hope that the U.S. can be persuaded to drop the “protectionist and illegal” tariffs.
When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in late May that retaliatory tariffs would be instituted, he said he hoped “common sense” would eventually prevail with U.S. President Donald Trump.
Ironically, the tariffs will take effect on the national holiday of July 1 – Canada Day, the date marking the creation of the country in 1867.
Last Mod: 30 Haziran 2018, 12:06