Canada strikes back at USA steel and aluminium tariffs

Chrystia Freeland

Trump ordered an investigation of whether auto imports pose national security risks last month under a section of the same 1960s trade law used to impose levies on steel and aluminum.

Don Woodbridge breaks open a cardboard box and pulls out a big jar of bread-and-butter pickles.

"American products, they use corn syrup and it's not as good", he declares.

Freeland said there are no grounds for further USA tariffs in response to Canada's actions. On the long list of items to be targeted are gherkins, a popular pickled treat in Canada, and one that Woodbridge produces at his plant.

"A tariff is a tax and it will be paid by American consumers", Mazda stated.

Alberta's steel and aluminum production is relatively small, with exports of $500 million worth of steel going to the USA each year but there are concerns over how an escalating trade war could affect the province's energy and agricultural industries. I couldn't believe it, you know.

Canada's tariffs target U.S. steel and aluminium products.

These tariffs represent a total of $16.6 billion in Canadian countermeasures on imports of steel, aluminum, and other products from the United States. A 25 percent tariff will also be placed on any American steel and aluminum. "We support that", he said.

"We were producing more steel now than we have, probably, I would say, in the last 20 to 30 years", he says. "And I don't want to be a part of a celebration of their country's anniversary". "It makes no sense".

The Canadian tariffs are created to hit products like steel and bourbon from states like OH and Kentucky that heavily favored Trump in the presidential election.

Studies estimate that tariffs could increase the price of an imported $30,000 auto by about $6,400 and cause up to 195,000 US workers to lose their jobs, JAMA said.

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Canada is the largest importer of steel and aluminum into the U.S. In 2017, Canada imported $4.3 billion in steel and $7.2 billion in aluminum to the United States. It buys tens of billions of USA dollars worth of parts from U.S. suppliers every year, and has invested over US$22 billion in United States manufacturing operations since 2009.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly pressed both USA and foreign auto makers to build more vehicles in the US, which would create jobs in rust-belt states that helped elect him.

A small list of countries, including Canada, were initially given exemptions.

"In terms of job losses, my message is clear: we stand with Canadian workers and we're prepared to support Canadian workers if and when that happens", said Hajdu, the federal labour minister. "Or it was, until Mr. Trump started applying freakish restrictions, tariffs under the guise of national security, which is, of course, ludicrous".

There are concerns that the two neighbors could get embroiled in a trade war. "This is the strongest trade action Canada has taken in the postwar era", Ms. Freeland said at the time.

"At some point, this tariff impact will be felt by customers", GM said.

Ottawa also released details Friday of a financial aid package for industries caught in the crossfire - and it includes up to $2 billion in fresh funding and support for workers in Canada's steel, aluminum and manufacturing sectors.

More broadly, the effects of the trade fight are expected to hurt both economies, which includes putting jobs at risk and potentially raising consumer prices on both sides of the border.

Deron Bilous, Alberta's Minister of Economic Development and Trade, said Ottawa is on the right track.

Hamilton will be the backdrop for an announcement on the Canada US trade dispute.

"In fact, the US auto industry is prospering, and the vast majority of industry stakeholders do not support these proposed tariffs", the Chamber said.

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