Published: Mon, July 02, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Canada ‘will not back down’ over United States metals tariffs

Canada ‘will not back down’ over United States metals tariffs

It begs the question: what comes next?

"We will not escalate and we will not back down", she said, while noting that this trade action was the strongest Ottawa has taken since World War II.

The levies will remain in effect until the United States eliminates its tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminium.

FILE- In this May 31, 2018, file photo, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference in Ottawa, Ontario.

"The two leaders agreed to stay in close touch on a way forward".

The prime minister's tariffs on USA goods cut a broad swath from steel and aluminum to whiskies, toilet paper, washing machines, motorboats - even maple syrup.

Canada hit back at the United States on Friday with retaliatory tariffs on $12.6 billion in American goods, including summer barbecue essentials such as orange juice, ketchup and bourbon.

Why is Canada imposing these tariffs?

"It is a dollar-for-dollar response", Freeland said.

The US and Canada are also in talks to update the North American Free Trade Agreement, which includes Mexico.

Canada also faces risks from the U.S.

Freeland said they are also prepared if Trump escalates the trade war.

"I think that prediction has been borne out", she said.

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) echoed her call Friday morning. "I love that issue if they're actually going to do that". For his part, President Trump unsurprisingly rejected any suggestion that he would entertain either notion.

"The president has made it very clear that he thinks that people who are members of a group like North Atlantic Treaty Organisation should pay their fair share", she said on Fox Business.

The announcement from Canada came the same week as European tariffs kicked in. An official told the Star at the time that the tariff list was created to put political pressure on key decision-makers south of the border.

"I think the World Trade Organisation is another group that he's said we should take a look at".

"I'm not expecting this to create the kind of waves that are going to make any big difference", Mr. Watson said Thursday. Canada is a small economy and relies on its trade with the U.S. But businesses could start relocating to the U.S. if the standoff becomes protracted.

The Trump administration imposed the steel and aluminum tariffs citing "national security" provisions of United States trade law, drawing a rebuke from allies who have fought alongside American soldiers in multiple wars.

On this front, Ottawa feels it has more work to do.

Ottawa had been consulting on the proposed list of goods to mitigate any unintended consequences for Canadian businesses, though it is anticipated the tariffs and counter-tariffs will cost consumers on both sides of the border.

The Trudeau government's decision to stand up to Trump with retaliatory measures has attracted wide support in Canada. But domestic businesses, particularly those in the steel sector, have expressed deep concerns about any escalation in the trade battle. The duties will be 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on everything else.

On support for businesses and workers, Friday's federal package includes similar measures to those offered by Ottawa past year in response US duties on softwood lumber products from Canada.

Such additional supports could include an extension of Employment Insurance benefits, wage insurance or "targeted earnings supplements" for workers who find new jobs that pay less, and enhanced mobility assistance, to help workers who have to move or extend their commute to work.

Ottawa is also vowing to boost funding for the provinces and territories to increase job and training programs. "The real solution to this unfortunate and unprecedented dispute is for the United States to rescind its tariffs on our steel and aluminum".

Another $250 million will be assigned through the Strategic Innovation Fund to bolster the competitiveness of Canadian manufacturers and better integrate aluminum and steel supply chains.

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