Canada is countering US President Donald Trump’s move to slap punishing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports by imposing dollar-for-dollar tariffs of its own on everything from steel products to maple syrup.
Canada will impose retaliatory tariffs on C$16.6 billion ($12.8 billion) worth of U.S. exports and challenge U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs under the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Thursday.
She and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement at a press conference hours after U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross confirmed the United States is following through on its threat to impose tariffs of 25 per cent on imported steel and 10 per cent on imported aluminum, citing national security interests.
“We have to believe that at some point, common sense will prevail,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a news conference, hours after the United States said it will impose tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union. “Unfortunately, the actions taken today by the American government do not seem to be headed in that direction,” Trudeau said.
“This is the 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,” Freeland told reporters.
Trudeau called the Trump administration’s national security argument “inconceivable” and called the tariffs “an affront to the Canadians who died” alongside Americans in battle.
China, Japan, Germany, and Mexico are reportedly set to announce similar retaliatory measures against the US.