Canada matches US Tariffs dollar for dollar
Canada hits back at U.S. with dollar-for-dollar on steel tariffs, aluminum, maple syrup and more
Mexico and the EU have imposed their own “rebalancing measures”. With the EU taking the added step of stating that they will be filing a grievance with the WTO.
“Today is a bad day for world trade. We did everything to avoid this outcome,” said EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström.
“The U.S. has sought to use the threat of trade restrictions as leverage to obtain concessions from the EU. This is not the way we do business.”
Ross tried to deflect suggestions the tariffs would damage ongoing NAFTA talks and the upcoming G7 meetings in Quebec.
In justifying the tariffs in March, Trump invoked a ‘national security’ reasoning. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)
“If any of these parties does retaliate, that does not mean that there cannot be continuing negotiations,” Ross said.
“They’re not mutually exclusive behaviours.”
Tariff Announcements Loom Over G7
But questions about the tariff announcements did loom over the start of the G7 finance ministers’ meeting in Whistler, B.C. Thursday.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the G7 representatives — among them, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin — will strive to work together despite the Trump administration’s decision.
“When we face challenges, we can’t get through them without talking,” said Morneau. “We’re not saying there won’t be frictions. We’re not saying that we won’t have strong words. We’re not saying we won’t be able to send messages. We need to send messages saying that working together is better than working apart.”
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said the Trudeau Liberals missed an opportunity to write a tariff contingency plan into the last federal budget, but tempered his criticism by insisting that free trade only works when it is “reciprocal.”
“Conservatives believe in free trade but that free trade has to be reciprocal. It has to go both ways for our workers to benefit from it,” he said.
She said the federal government has “contingency plans” in place to absorb the impact of U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum on defence projects.
Multi-billion-dollar programs to buy new fighter jets and warships are all heavily dependent on the price of steel.
“We prepare for this kind of thing,” said the Delta MP. “There is money set aside, whether it be for tariffs or for interest rate fluctuations, so we can proceed with our defence procurement should there be additional costs associated because of tariffs or other unexpected circumstances.”
On Wednesday, Trudeau called Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, all in regions with large steel and aluminum sectors, to talk about the upcoming decision.
The Prime Minister’s Office said they “all agreed to continue to defend the Canadian steel and aluminum industry from unwarranted tariffs and to stand up for the best interests of all Canadian workers and businesses.”
“We need to hit Trump where it hurts — in his wallet,” the premier — currently fighting to keep her job in Ontario’s provincial election — said Thursday. ”This short-sighted decision is an attack on Ontario’s steel industry and its workers. It is not the action of a friend, an ally or economic partner.”
Couillard, whose province is the country’s largest producer of aluminum, called the tariffs “illogical.”
“It’s a bad decision for the Americans. They’re increasing manufacturing and defence industry costs,” he said in French.
Morneau announced late Wednesday that the government would bolster its measures to prevent foreign steel and aluminum from being dumped into the North American market However, it appears to have done little to date to prevent the U.S.’s punitive duties.
Canada’s attempt to thwart the tariffs came in concert with its European allies, who were also trying to stop the U.S.
Both Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron made their cases separately to the U.S administration, while other European officials met with their U.S. counterparts in Paris on Thursday
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