Canada implements tariffs against US in first retaliatory trade action

Canada implements tariffs against US in first retaliatory trade action

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland is set to publicly finalise a list of US goods that Canada will subject to

Canada’s International Trade Minister Champagne attends a meeting with members of the Canada-Mexico Chamber of Commerce in San Pedro Garza Garcia

Photo: Reuters/Daniel Becerril

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland is set to publicly finalise a list of US goods that Canada will subject to harsh tariffs. The two countries, once heavily reliant on free trade with one another, are now at commercial odds.

The countermeasures come a month after US President Donald Trump declared tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminium. Ottawa is set to impose a 25 percent tariff on US steel and aluminium products along with a 10 percent tariff on over 120 other goods; these duties target US imports worth over $16.6 billion.

With US negotiations ongoing about reformulating or pulling out of NAFTA, Canada’s move today demonstrates their intolerance of US behaviour. As the US currently accounts for over half of Canada’s imports and nearly three-fourths of its export destinations, the tariffs may cause more harm than the symbolic gesture of resistance may be worth. Even turning to China, its second-largest trading partner, may not be enough to satisfy the demands of Canada’s economy, which is suffering from a one-year low in its currency exchange. Canadian nationals may suddenly be hard pressed to buy, sell and keep the economy strong.

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