Canada to aid steel, aluminum industries hit by USA tariffs

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Canada struck back at the Trump administration on Friday over U.S. steel and aluminium tariffs, vowing to impose punitive measures on C$16.6 billion (S$17.07 billion) worth of American goods until Washington relents.

Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland announced final measures Friday that take effect on Canada's July 1 national holiday.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chyrstia Freeland said Friday they had no other choice and will not escalate the dispute, but also will not back down. "This is a perfectly reciprocal action. Unions welcome the Canadian government's rapid response in defense of Canadian workers as an important first step in protecting workers and communities who will be adversely affected by this misguided attack on Canadian industry", said CLC President Hassan Yussuff. An official told the Star at the time that the tariff list was created to put political pressure on key decision-makers south of the border.

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. The product will now be hit with a 10 per cent duty.

Whiskey is another item on the list, which comes from Tennessee and Kentucky, the latter being the home state of Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell. Trudeau updated the president on Canada's tariffs on US imports, according to the readout, which also said the two leaders discussed "the North American Free Trade negotiations and agreed to continue working toward a mutually beneficial outcome". That might change with the prospect of auto tariffs, though she stated that she hopes common sense would prevail.

The Trump administration announced its plans to levy new taxes on foreign steel and aluminium this spring, saying those industries were vital to USA national security.

Major automakers and manufacturers on Friday warned against imposing tariffs in filings with US Commerce Department, which President Donald Trump instructed in May to look into protecting the auto industry.

The two countries, with Mexico, are also locked in negotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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Donald Trump at an event to mark the sixth-month anniversary of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, saying tariffs are bringing "billions of dollars" to the US.

In a separate filing, Toyota Motor Corp said imposing tariffs on the auto industry imports would "threaten United States manufacturing, jobs, exports, and economic prosperity".

"We will not escalate and we will not back down", she added, while urging Washington to reconsider its attack on the Canadian economy, and noting that the response was Ottawa's toughest trade action since World War II.

While there were calls to impose the retaliatory tariffs immediately, the government opted to hold off until July 1 and hold consultations on the retaliatory measures on an array of USA goods. "I think all of us, at this point, fully anticipate there will be some moments of drama in the future". "They are prepared for this", said Dan Ujczo, a trade lawyer in Columbus, Ohio.

Bains said the support is aimed at helping firms adjust to the hard circumstances while enabling them to continue to innovate along the way.

Ritchie says there will be an impact from both countries' imposition of tariffs but Canada will be just fine.

She is also expected to reveal the details of the federal government's plan to support Canada's tariff-targeted steel and aluminum industries.