Canada hits United States with retaliatory tariffs on metals, whiskey, maple syrup

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Canadian politicians are hoping the tit-for-tat strategy will convince Trump to back down and we'll go back to being the best of trading buddies.

In May, when the U.S. said it would not extend exemptions from the tariffs to Canada and Mexico, it said those talks were moving too slowly.

Aside from tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the US, dozens of additional consumer goods will be subject to 10 per cent duties - from ketchup, to lawn mowers, to playing cards.

It's very likely that will pick up, since Canada says it will impose retaliatory tariffs on the USA on July 1.

Roland Paris, a professor of global affairs at the University of Ottawa and a former foreign policy advisor to Trudeau, says no one wins in a trade war that could cost tens of thousands of jobs.

Alberta's steel and aluminum production is relatively small, with exports of $500 million worth of steel going to the US each year but there are concerns over how an escalating trade war could affect the province's energy and agricultural industries. "Or it was, until Mr. Trump started applying freaky restrictions, tariffs under the guise of national security, which is, of course, ludicrous".

Canada's Freeland called the idea of auto tariffs "absolutely absurd".

"I'm not expecting this to create the kind of waves that are going to make any big difference", Mr. Watson said Thursday.

Trump with with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during an awkward G7 Summit in early June.

"We will not escalate and we will not back down", she said, while noting that this trade action was the strongest Ottawa has taken since World War II.

"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".

"Working in partnership with industry and business associations, we will provide capacity support to assist Canadian companies [to] tap into the new markets now uniquely open to them in Europe, Asia and around the world", said International Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne.

The Trudeau government's decision to stand up to Trump with countermeasures has attracted wide support in Canada.

Ritchie says there will be an impact from both countries' imposition of tariffs but Canada will be just fine. But domestic businesses, particularly those in the steel sector, have expressed deep concerns about any escalation in the trade battle. Export Development Canada and the Business Development Bank of Canada are offering up to $1.7-billion in loans and services to the aluminum and steel sectors, including small and medium-sized businesses.

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.

"We're ready, really, for pretty much anything", Freeland concluded, suggesting plans are drawn up in the event that the USA imposes more tariffs. "That includes new extended work-sharing, to help employers avoid layoffs, and increased capacity for job and skills training programs for any workers who need them".

Freeland, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, and Employment and Labour Minister Patty Hajdu also announced that their government will offer compensation to affected businesses and will tweak the employment insurance program to keep workers in Canada. Canada has already taken steps to address diversion and dumping into the Canadian market and will work with all affected stakeholders on next steps to protect our workers and companies.

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