‘Will not back down’: Canada imposes billions in retaliatory tariffs against US

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Canada struck back at the Trump administration over US steel and aluminum tariffs on Friday, vowing to impose punitive measures on C$16.6 billion ($12.63 billion) worth of American goods until Washington relents.

Retaliatory tariffs on C$16.6bn worth of United States products are due to come into effect on 1 July. This means that products made in the US with Canadian aluminum or steel and sold back to Canada will now be heavily taxed by both nations. Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland said they had no other choice and called the tariffs regrettable.

Canada has chose to impose a tariff of 25% on a host of steel and aluminium products and 10% on goods, including pizza, quiche, whiskies, toilet paper and inflatable boats. Canadian steel is used in American tanks, and Canadian aluminum in American planes.

"The tariffs introduced by the United States on Canadian steel and aluminum are protectionist and illegal under WTO and NAFTA rules, the very rules that the United States helped to write", Freeland said.

"We will not escalate and we will not back down", she added, while urging Washington to reconsider its attack on the Canadian economy, and noting that the response was Ottawa's toughest trade action since World War II.

GM, which makes many vehicles for the U.S. market in Mexico and Canada, said the tariffs could hike vehicle prices and reduce sales.

"These retaliatory tariffs underscore the complete hypocrisy that governs so much of the global trading system", he said in a statement, and "do great damage to the multilateral trading system".

Ryder was less optimistic about whether the USA would hold off on imposing further tariffs against Canada.

"We will not escalate, and we will not back down", she said.

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

Harley-Davidson US production a casualty in Trump tariff war
Harley-Davidson said it will not raise its prices to avert " an immediate and lasting detrimental impact " on sales in Europe. The company has assembly plants in the United States, India and Brazil, and will open a new plant in Thailand in the summer.

Through its strategic innovation fund, Ottawa is also offering up to $250 million in support in an effort to reinforce the competitiveness of Canadian manufacturers and strengthen the integration of Canada's steel and aluminum supply chain.

Ritchie says there will be an impact from both countries' imposition of tariffs but Canada will be just fine.

"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 list adds up to about $12.6 billion USA of goods - the equivalent of the value of Canadian items hit by US tariffs.

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

To help businesses retain skilled workers, the duration of work-sharing agreements will be doubled under the employment insurance program to 76 weeks from 38 weeks. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross blamed this move on a lack of progress in North American free-trade renegotiations with Canada and Mexico.

Our federal government is hoping Americans, particularly Republican politicians, won't be laughing when they realize their state will be hit hard by the tariffs that will increase the price of their products in the Canadian market.

"The United States is acting as a bully to a smaller country, and I think it would be hypocritical of me to sort of show up and accept their hospitality and free food and so on, when we are in the midst of this trade dispute that is going to have serious ramifications for the entire country and employment in this city", Mr. Watson told CTV earlier in the week, HuffPost reported.

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

The government also plans to invest $50 million over five years to help firms take full advantage of recent trade agreements, including Canada's deal with the European Union and its membership in the Trans-Pacific Partnership.