Canada Finalizes Tariffs on U.S. Goods, Vows Aid for Workers

Canada moves ahead with $16.6 billion in tariffs on U.S. products as trade war heats up

Canada 'will not back down' over US metals tariffs

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government finalized tariffs on $12.6 billion of American goods and pledged money to support companies and workers hurt by us levies on Canadian steel and aluminum exports.

Chrystia Freeland, Canada's foreign minister, said Friday that Ottawa will slap tariffs on $12.6 billion of USA exports starting on Sunday. Some items will be subject to taxes of 10% or 25% amounting to $16.6 billion (Rs 1 lakh 13,600 crore) in tariffs. The counter-measures come in direct response to the illegal, unjustified and unwarranted tariffs on steel and aluminum recently imposed by the U.S.

Many of the United States products were chosen for their political rather than economic impact.

Freeland said there are no grounds for further USA tariffs in response to Canada's actions.

Trump and Trudeau have clashed recently, with the president warning Canada will pay for it.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland unveiled the details - including a finished list of US products on Canada's hit list, which takes effect Sunday - during a news conference at a steel factory in Hamilton.

"We're not going for the escalation, but will not retreat", said Freeland.

"This is a perfectly reciprocal action", Freeland said. "It is a dollar-for-dollar response".

"It is absolutely imperative that common sense should prevail", she said.

This occurred as threats to end the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) hang in the air, and negotiations on improving the treaty have stalled. "It would change the calculus", he said.

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The latter move is seen as a major threat to Canadian growth and to the North American auto sector, since USA carmakers rely heavily on supply chains that include its two neighbours.

Since then, the Tories have launched their own "defend local jobs tour", to hear from workers and businesses impacted by the tariffs and threats of further trade action; while the NDP got unanimous consent from all sides in the House of Commons to pass a motion backing Canadian steel, aluminum, and supply management sectors, while condemning "disparaging ad-hominem statements by US officials".

Trump is also threatening to impose tariffs on Canadian autos, which would cause significantly more economic harm.

There are fears, however, that Canadian tariffs - some of which target businesses in states that are important to Trump and his supporters - could lead to fresh trade action from the U.S.

As part of the $2-billion aid package for the steel, aluminum and manufacturing industries, Ottawa will provide liquidity support to affected businesses and increase jobs and training funds for workers in provinces and territories affected by the tariffs.

But before we pop open a cold Canadian beer on Sunday to celebrate standing up to Trump, keep in mind this trade war, even if it doesn't escalate further, will raise the price of products on both sides of the border.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland gestures during a joint news conference on the closing of the seventh round of NAFTA talks in Mexico City, Mexico, March 5, 2018. "I think all of us, at this point, fully anticipate there will be some moments of drama in the future".

The annual conference presents Canadian politicians and business leaders with an opportunity to engage with their USA counterparts - particularly those who share the same opinion on the tariffs, and understand that the Canadian and US economies are intrinsically linked, Bilous said.

The US is also exposed to thousands of potential job losses, as higher costs for steel and aluminium hurt US firms and trigger retaliation from Canada and elsewhere.

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