Canada strikes back at steel tariffs
From frozen pizza to chocolate bars and ballpoint pens, Canada has a carefully curated list of U.S.-made products to hit with retaliatory tariffs after the U.S. decided to impose duties on Canadian steel and aluminum.
Besides matching America’s 25 percent tax on imported steel and 10 percent tax on aluminum, Canada will soon levy similar taxes on popular U.S. products such as chocolate bars, mayonnaise, whiskey, sailboats, washing machines, maple sugar and strawberries.
The Canadian government decided to impose the levies after efforts to secure a permanent exemption to the steel and and aluminum tariffs failed. President Donald Trump announced the tariffs in March, saying they were needed to restore "balance" to U.S. trade. He temporarily exempted Canada, the European Union and Mexico from the tariffs while trying to negotiate new trade deals.
Most of the U.S. products picked by the Canadian government for tariffs were selected because Canadian-made alternatives are readily available, limiting the impact for its citizens, experts said. In some cases, the government picked products associated with certain states, hoping any lost sales will spur Congress to stand up to President Donald Trump and convince him to end the tariffs.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called the tariffs “insulting.”
“Let me be clear: These tariffs are totally unacceptable,” Trudeau said. “These tariffs will harm industry and workers on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border, disrupting linked supply chains that have made North American steel and aluminum more competitive around the world. Beyond that, these tariffs are an affront to the long-standing security partnership between Canada and the United States, and in particular, to the thousands of Canadians who have fought and died alongside American comrades-in-arms.”
The tariffs are scheduled to go into effect July 1. The European Union and Mexico are expected to soon enact their own tariffs, stoking fears of a trade war among analysts.