Canada ‘will not back down’ over USA metals tariffs

01 July, 2018, 16:43 | Author: Orlando Hughes
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The measures targeting 16.6 billion Canadian dollars ($ 12.6 billion) in United States steel, aluminum and consumer goods will take effect on Sunday when Canadians across the country will be celebrating a national holiday and just days before Americans celebrate their independence.

Jeremy Spence, an area manager in cold rolling at Stelco, takes a selfie with Chrystia Freeland, Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs.

"Where Canadian steel products are subject to tariffs entering the United States, it is only fair that equivalent tariffs should be imposed on USA steel products entering Canada", said CSPA President Joseph Galimberti.

Canada promised to react by imposing retaliatory tariffs on C$16.6 billion worth of US exports and Freeland is due to outline exactly which goods will be hit, said the source.

Chrystia Freeland, Canada's foreign minister, said Friday that Ottawa will slap tariffs on $12.6 billion of USA exports starting on Sunday. Starting on July 1 most of the items will be taxed at rates of 10 percent or 25 percent.

Trudeau also spoke by phone with President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico.

But at the end of May, Trump said that Canada and the European Union would be swept into the tariffs, setting off a series of tit-for-tat tariffs by close US trading partners.

"We make stuff together", he says, "we're the closest two countries in the world".

It was their first direct conversation since Trump tweeted that Trudeau was "weak" and "dishonest" after leaving the G-7 meetings in Quebec earlier this month.

Meanwhile, asked about reports that Stephen Harper will meet senior US officials in Washington next week, Ms. Freeland said the former prime minister did a good job defending Canada on USA television earlier this month and that she wished him well in all his endeavours.

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These tariffs represent a total of $16.6 billion in Canadian countermeasures on imports of steel, aluminum, and other products from the United States. "This is a perfectly reciprocal action".

"We are acting very much in sorrow, not in anger", said Freeland, stressing the closeness of the overall relationship. She also filed a separate complaint under the North American Free Trade Agreement, arguing the the USA tariffs are "completely unacceptable" and "illegal".

She also repeated that Mr Trump's decision to invoke national security to justify the USA tariffs on steel and aluminium imports was "insulting" to Canadian veterans who had stood by their United States allies in conflicts dating back to World War I.

Trudeau announced Canada's intention to retaliate against Trump's tariffs at the end of May. Freeland said such tariffs would be "absurd" because the North American auto industry is highly integrated and parts made in Canada often go to cars manufactured in the US and then sold back to Canadians.

"Any trade action is disruptive on both sides of the border", Freeland said.

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 that prediction has been borne out and I think all of us anticipate there will be some moments of drama in the future".

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.

"I don't think Congress right now is expected to get engaged until after the midterm election".

Bains, the economic development minister, said the support is aimed at helping firms adjust to the hard circumstances while enabling them to continue to innovate along the way.

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