Enraged Canada Vows Tariffs Retaliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is caught in a political crisis over the expansion of an oil pipeline

Canada is hitting back against U.S. metals tariffs with a plan to slap its own tariffs on up to $16.6 billion of U.S. exports, including beer, whiskey, steel, and aluminum.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland announced the retaliatory trade measures in a press conference Thursday hours after U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the U.S. would apply its tariffs on steel and aluminum, starting at midnight.

Freeland characterized the tariffs as “strongest trade action Canada has taken in the post-war era.”

“This is a very strong response, it is a proportionate response, it is perfectly reciprocal. This is a very strong Canadian action in response to a very bad U.S. decision,” Freeland said.

Trudeau posted a series of tweets about Canada’s actions, calling the U.S. tariffs “unacceptable.”

Trudeau also said Canada would challenge the U.S. tariffs in the World Trade Organization.

“It is simply ridiculous to view any trade with Canada as a national security threat to the US and we will continue to stand up for Canadian workers & Canadian businesses,” Trudeau wrote in another tweet.

The U.S. has not said that trade with Canada is a national security threat. An investigation by the Commerce Department found that a global glut of steel and aluminum, the ultimate source of which is China’s subsidized dumping of metals on world markets, was endangering the health of U.S. metals producers. The Trump administration has spent months working with trading partners to determine if there were means other than tariffs to protect U.S. steel and aluminum manufacturers from the effects of artificially low-priced metals imports.

The new Canadian tariffs would are not expected to apply until July 1, according to a Canadian official.


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