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US, Canada trade war?

02 July 2018

Canada hit back at the United States on Friday with retaliatory tariffs on $12.6 billion in American goods, including summer barbecue essentials such as orange juice, ketchup and bourbon.

"We will not escalate and we will not back down", Freeland told reporters at a Stelco Holdings Inc plant in the Ontario steel city of Hamilton.

Ohio-based trade lawyer Dan Ujczo said he believes there's a significant chance Trump will introduce auto tariffs to some degree, although he predicted they could target the European Union rather than Canada.

"It is absolutely imperative that common sense should prevail", she said. She also repeated that Trump's decision to invoke national security to justify the USA tariffs on steel and aluminum imports was "insulting" to Canadian veterans who had stood by their United States allies in conflicts dating back to World War I.

U.S. President Donald Trump has specifically targeted Canadian steel and aluminum makers with tariffs of 25 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively, on imports from Canada, justifying the move on the basis of national security. The company did not comment on how many jobs would be shifted away from the US, but said that it would take between nine and 18 months to move production away from Wisconsin.

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Freeland billed Canada's response as dollar-for-dollar countermeasures that are part of a perfectly reciprocal retaliation to what she called the "illegal" and "absurd" tariffs imposed by the Trump administration.

Alberta trade minister Deron Bilous fully supports the federal government's decision to slap $16.6 billion of tariffs on a long list of U.S products. While the government endeavoured to remove many such items, some remain, he said. It is inconceivable and completely unacceptable to view any trade with Canada as a national security threat to the United States. A WTO official said Friday that the organisation has not heard from the United States about reconsidering its membership. "My concern, as an industry player that exports 90 per cent of what it produces to the US, is viewing the progressive destruction of my value chains in the U.S".

Providing liquidity support to affected businesses.

For companies, Ottawa is promising up to $1.7 billion worth of financing and services for steel and aluminum industries through Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada.

Through its strategic innovation fund, Ottawa is also offering up to $250 million in support in an effort to reinforce the competitiveness of Canadian manufacturers and strengthen the integration of Canada's steel and aluminum supply chain. Canada has already taken steps to address diversion and dumping into the Canadian market and will work with all affected stakeholders on next steps to protect our workers and companies.

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- Extending EI work-sharing agreements by 38 more weeks.

The package is similar to last year's support for the softwood lumber sector, which was worth a combined $867-million.

Freeland has repeatedly warned that the imposition of both steel, aluminum and auto tariffs would hurt American workers just as much as those in Canada. Our government stands shoulder-to-shoulder with our workers and the innovative, world-class products they produce.

"I've politely declined because I'm not happy with the direction of the American government and their constant attacks on our country", Mr. Watson said.

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US, Canada trade war?