Canada to aid steel, aluminum industries hit by USA tariffs

Going too far? Trudeau’s overly liberal course might do him a disservice

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said earlier this month the tariffs were designed in part to stop cheap steel entering the United States via Canada and other countries.

Among the actions the chamber recommends are continuing to pursue the case through the World Trade Organization (WTO), trying to open new markets to Canadian goods beside the USA and making concessions to the Americans on areas such as supply management in dairy.

Two days before Canada's retaliatory tariffs against U.S. steel, aluminum and some consumer goods are set to take effect, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with U.S. President Donald Trump by phone explaining Canada had no choice but to act.

She said she expects "common sense will prevail".

Canada is set to put its retaliatory tariffs in place on July 1, Canada Day, and will remain in effect as long as the USA tariffs on Canada stay in place. "A lot of people appreciate that", she said in an interview Friday.

Higher tariffs would "lead to a smaller GM, a reduced presence at home and overseas for this iconic American company, and risk less - not more - United States jobs", the largest U.S. automaker said.

Canada hit back on Friday with retaliatory tariffs on American summertime essentials such as Florida orange juice, OH ketchup and Kentucky bourbon in its opening salvo in a trade war with president Donald Trump.

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

The annual conference presents Canadian politicians and business leaders with an opportunity to engage with their USA counterparts - particularly those who share the same opinion on the tariffs, and understand that the Canadian and US economies are intrinsically linked, Bilous said. A WTO official said Friday that the organisation has not heard from the U.S. about reconsidering its membership.

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Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland speaks to the press after meeting with members of The Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the US Capitol on June 13, 2018 in Washington, DC. The Canadian government, alongside the European Union and Mexico, has formally challenged the American tariffs at the World Trade Organization.

Prior to the kickoff of North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations last summer, Freeland said she recalled believing there would be "moments of drama" in the process.

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

Freeland called it "the strongest trade action Canada has taken in the postwar era". The ministers reiterated Friday that Canada has taken steps and introduced safeguards to address concerns about diversion and dumping of products into the Canadian market.

The Trudeau government's decision to stand up to Trump with retaliatory measures has attracted wide support in Canada. Orders are up in anticipation of retaliatory Canadian tariffs on US gherkins.

On support for businesses and workers, Friday's federal package includes similar measures to those offered by Ottawa a year ago in response US duties on softwood lumber products from Canada. The aim is to help businesses retain skilled workers and avoid layoffs during any rough patches ahead.

Freeland, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, and Employment and Labour Minister Patty Hajdu also announced that their government will offer compensation to affected businesses and will tweak the employment insurance program to keep workers in Canada. The United States is also the top destination for Canadian vacationers, who made 42 million trips to the U.S. in 2017.

On the campaign trail this week, Mr 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.

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