The Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that the country has no other choice after taxes levied by President Trump on steel and aluminum.
The Government of Justin Trudeau has already defined the list of goods imported from the United States to which as of this Sunday will begin to apply special tariffs, in response to the protectionist policy of the Administration of Donald Trump .
The announcement was made this Friday in Hamilton, the main steel center in the country.
The foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, made clear on Friday that the retaliatory measure is contained, reciprocal and equivalent to the US action.
“We do not look for an escalation, but we do not back down either,” she warned.
The Canadian government presented the list of US products that will pay tariffs – between 10% and 25% – when crossing the border from July 1st, the day of Canada’s national holiday. On June 1st, hours before US tariffs on steel and aluminum came into force, Minister Freeland and Justin Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister, announced levies with a total value of 16,600 million Canadian dollars (about 10,800 million euros), the equivalent of the impact of tariffs fixed on Canada in a year.
Freeland and Trudeau said the measure would be activated on July 1st, leaving open the possibility that the United States would reverse its stand.
However, time is running out and Washington has not moved. This Friday, the detailed list of products with special tariffs has been made public. In addition to those made with steel and aluminum (including pipes, cables, doors, nails and windows), they also include goods such as coffee, sauces, cosmetics, spirits, napkins, pillows and pens.
Freeland also announced a support package for Canadian aluminum and steel companies affected by US government levies. Minister Freeland reported that Ottawa will allocate aid for nearly 2 billion Canadian dollars (about 1,300 million euros), both in loans and innovation projects and unemployment insurance.
The resources will be distributed through the Investment Bank of Canada, the Economic Development Agency and the Strategic Innovation Fund. Also this Friday, François-Philippe Champagne, minister of international trade, visited Saguenay (Quebec), where a large part of Canadian aluminum is made, to reiterate that the federal government will offer the necessary support to this industry.
Justin Trudeau has indicated in different forums that the measures imposed by Washington, under the argument of defending national security, seem foolish. Donald Trump responded to Trudeau’s words at the end of the G7 summit in Charlevoix (Quebec), calling the prime minister “dishonest” and “weak” via Twitter. Freeland took advantage of the press conference in Hamilton to reiterate the Canadian vision: “The pretext of national security is not only absurd, it is also hurtful.
Tariffs are illegal under the rules of the WTO (the World Trade Organization) and the TCLAN (the North American Free Trade Agreement). We have filed complaints to challenge them. ” He also stated that Washington has the solution through the cancellation of liens.
Canadian Government is in constant communication with Mexican and European authorities, also affected by the US measures.
They also evoked NAFTA, affirming that the three North American countries intend to intensify the renegotiation’s after the Mexican elections that will take place this Sunday.
Canada responds to US levies with similar measures and reaches out to its steel and aluminium producers. However, it can not cut the bridges with the country to which it sends 72% of its exports.
And to all this, Trump’s threatened to impose 25% tariffs on imported cars.