Following US President Donald Trump’s metals tariffs, Canada, together with a host of other American trading partners, vowed responsive tariffs aimed at goods imported from the US. Those threats are now becoming a reality as Canada’s response is becoming a reality on July 1st, when Canadian tariffs will go into effect.
Canada’s foreign minister announced Friday that Ottawa plans to impose about $12.6 billion worth of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods on July 1, joining other major U.S. allies striking back in the escalating trade dispute.
The country is working closely with the European Union and Mexico, according to Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.
“We will not escalate, and we will not back down,” Freeland said.
Canada’s announcement is part of larger fallout from U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcements on trade. The U.S. has levied tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum on Canada, the EU and other nations. As a result, some of the U.S.’ biggest trading partners have retaliated with counter-tariffs.
Canada’s plan taking effect next week will include imports of U.S. products such as yogurt, caffeinated roasted coffee, toilet paper and sleeping bags. Mexico’s tariffs took effect June 5 on U.S. products such as pork, cheese, cranberries, whiskey and apples. The EU enacted tariffs Friday on more than $3 billion worth of U.S. goods including bourbon, yachts and motorcycles.
The U.S. accounted for 55 percent of Canada’s steel imports in 2017, with the remainder coming from China, South Korea, Brazil and Turkey.
The White House’s stated goal in implementing tariffs is protecting U.S. jobs, but the initial business response suggests that U.S. companies are taking a hit. Companies are coping with the tit-for-tat tariffs by increasing prices or making business changes to cope with higher costs.
Trump thinks he’s balancing out a trade deficit and protecting American industry, but what he’s being quite successful in achieving is higher operating costs for American manufacturers and higher prices for the American consumer, all while taking America’s relations and influence with its trade partners down a notch or two. China, the EU, Japan, India, Mexico, Russia, and other nations which represent a large chunk of America’s trade, have each in turn threatened to impose retaliatory tariffs, and some of those countermeasures have met with punitive retaliations from the Trump administration, threatening a full blown trade war.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.