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Canada announces details of tariffs on US goods

Canada announces details of tariffs on US goods

As temperatures and tensions increase, the measures targeting 16.6 billion Canadian dollars ($12.6 billion) in USA steel, aluminum and consumer goods will take effect on Sunday, when Canadians celebrate a national holiday and just days before Americans celebrate Independence Day amid a heatwave expected in both countries.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chyrstia Freeland said Friday they had no other choice and will not escalate the dispute, but also will not back down.

"It is a reciprocal action". Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains said Friday alongside Freeland that he will act soon on that file, while declining to provide details of how it would work.

"Should the USA not change course, we would encourage the government to explore other retaliatory options, like expropriating American pharmaceutical patents and other intellectual property".

Canada is the largest importer of steel and aluminum into the U.S. In 2017, Canada imported $4.3 billion in steel and $7.2 billion in aluminum to the United States.

Brown-Forman, Jack Daniel's parent company, said in a statement that the price of a 700 ml bottle of whiskey will increase by approximately 10 percent in Europe. She called the tariffs regrettable.

The Trump administration has said the tariffs are necessary to protect the steel and aluminium industries, arguing that their success is vital to America's national security.

Freeland has long insisted that Canada introduced stronger safeguards on steel well before the US imposed the tariffs.

This occurred as threats to end the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) hang in the air, and negotiations on improving the treaty have stalled.

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If Trump steps up his attacks on Canada's economy and imposes a tariff on automobiles as threatened, it would lead to "carmageddon", Flavio Volpe, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association, told a Commons committee hearing on Tuesday.

"We're ready, really, for pretty much everything", she said, pointing out that Canadian-U.S. relations will likely have further "moments of drama".

"The prime minister and the government have been very diligent about meeting with groups that could be impacted by trade", he says, "reassuring them that in the event that there is a major impact, there will be either trade actions or other types of relief provided".

Freeland said an "intensive phase" of NAFTA renegotiations will resume quickly after Sunday's elections in Mexico.

In Washington, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association said the tariffs would hit $170 million worth of USA beef products. "They are prepared for this", said Dan Ujczo, a trade lawyer in Columbus, Ohio.

Overall, Ujczo said Canada's retaliatory tariffs have been baked into the White House's calculus for months. On the campaign trail this week, Trump continued his attacks on Canadian dairy, wheat and duty-free customs allowances for Canadians returning home, saying they were scuffing up brand new shoes in order to sneak them in.

Auto giant General Motors warned imposing auto tariffs "risks undermining GM's competitiveness against foreign auto producers", driving up the cost of imported components and reducing sales. "It would change the calculus", he said.

Freeland said on June 19 that the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was working on ways to directly support the steel and aluminum industries and their workers.


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