Canadians Rally Around Retaliatory Tariffs Aimed At The U.S.

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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 across the country will be celebrating a national holiday and just days before Americans celebrate their independence.

President Trump's tariffs on Canadian products and attacks against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have prompted the mayor of Ottawa, the country's capital and fourth-largest city, to skip an invite-only Fourth of July party being held at the us ambassador's residence next week.

The final retaliatory tariff list spells out more than 100 steel products that are being hit with a 25 per cent surtax including bars, rods, and flat-rolled products; 19 aluminum products including doors, nuts and bolts, and scouring pads; and over 70 other US goods that will have a 10 per cent surtax placed on them. Starting on July 1 most of the items will be taxed at rates of 10 percent or 25 percent.

Numerous products were chosen because they are produced in states represented by Republican politicians, the ones who keep propping up Trump. Freeland said such tariffs would be "absurd" because the North American auto industry is highly integrated and parts made in Canada often go to cars manufactured in the U.S. and then sold back to Canadians.

USA officials have also linked the tariffs to slow progress in talks to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump says is a disaster and must be changed.

Foreign affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland will be in Hamilton tomorrow to talk about steel, aluminum and retaliatory tariffs.

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

"This is a perfectly reciprocal action", Freeland said.

Canada will also give $1.52 billion in USA dollars ($2 billion Canadian) to industries hurt by US tariffs, and $1.29 billion of this will go to help the Canadian steel and aluminum industries.

Trump is also threatening to impose tariffs on Canadian autos, which would cause significantly more economic harm.

She said the measures were put in place not only to ensure Canada is a good trading partner, but primarily to protect Canada's own national interest by keeping Chinese steel and aluminum from being dumped into the market.

The two countries, with Mexico, are also locked in negotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement. It is inconceivable and completely unacceptable to view any trade with Canada as a national security threat to the United States.

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Canadians are particularly anxious about auto tariffs because the industry is critical to Canada's economy.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks on June 9 at the conclusion of the G7 summit in La Malbaie, Quebec.

After the European Union unveiled similar retaliatory tariffs, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer earlier this week lashed out calling them groundless and illegal.

Business executives warned lawmakers this week that escalation into an all-out trade war would be devastating to the Canadian economy, which sends about 75 percent of its exports to the United States.

"I don't think we'll see any reaction from the Trump administration".

Ms Freeland said the discussions continue and will heat up again after the Mexican election on Sunday.

The US is also exposed to thousands of potential job losses, as higher costs for steel and aluminium hurt US firms and trigger retaliation from Canada and elsewhere.

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.

Ottawa also unveiled an aid package for affected industries and workers worth up to C$2 billion, consisting mainly of up to C$1.7 billion in commercial financing and insurance for firms in the steel and aluminum sectors and related industries.

Ms Freeland called the idea of auto tariffs "absolutely absurd".

Overall, Ujczo said Canada's retaliatory tariffs have been baked into the White House's calculus for months.

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