Canada hits back at United States tariffs

Conservative MP Maxime Bernier talks with media in Ottawa on Wednesday

Conservative MP Maxime Bernier talks with media in Ottawa on Wednesday

Chrystia Freeland spoke as officials unveiled a C$2bn (US$1.5bn; £1.15bn) package to support the country's steel and aluminium industries.

"In its filing on Friday, The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) said Trump's tariffs stand to undermine the sector, ultimately "[giving] an edge to foreign production at the expense of us manufacturing, job growth, our economy and ultimately USA national security". Some items will be subject to taxes of 10 or 25 percent.

The Trump administration in May launched an investigation into whether imported vehicles posed a national security threat, and US President Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to quickly impose a 20 per cent import tariff on vehicles.

They will be announcing details about Canada's response to the newly imposed United States steel and aluminum tariffs.

The largest USA automaker said in comments filed on Friday with the United States commerce department that overly broad tariffs could "lead to a smaller GM, a reduced presence at home and overseas for this iconic American company, and risk less - not more - U.S. jobs".

GM's comments on the proposed tariffs represent some of the strongest pushback on the administration's tariff proposals yet by major auto companies, all of which face the potential of significant duties on imported vehicles or components.

General Motors warned on Friday that expansive U.S. tariffs on imported vehicles being considered by the Trump administration could lead to "a smaller GM" and risks isolating USA businesses from the global market.

The government says it is still working on getting the U.S.to lift their "protectionist and illegal" tariffs. "And I think it sends a symbolic signal that I'm not interested in supporting an administration that is constantly attacking our economy".

"Canada has to choice but to retaliate with a measured, reciprocal dollar-for-dollar response".

"It is with regret that we take these countermeasures, but the USA tariffs leave Canada no choice but to defend our industries, our workers and our communities, and we will remain firm in doing so", Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement.

Our federal government is hoping Americans, particularly Republican politicians, won't be laughing when they realize their state will be hit hard by the tariffs that will increase the price of their products in the Canadian market. In addition, the government will help affected workers through the Employment Insurance program.

"In terms of job losses, my message is clear: we stand with Canadian workers and we're prepared to support Canadian workers if and when that happens", said Hajdu, the federal labour minister. It's not known how much of that money will come to Alberta (our steel exports to the United States are worth about $500 million compared to about $7 billion for all of 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.

Bains, the economic development minister, said the support is aimed at helping firms adjust to the hard circumstances while enabling them to continue to innovate along the way. The US would also forfeit any ability to overturn unfair trade practices in the WTO dispute-settlement system. 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.

"As Mazda begins construction of our new auto factory in Huntsville, Alabama, we urge the Commerce Department to reject the premise that auto imports are a threat to national security".

The U.S. has a USA $2 billion annual trade surplus on iron and steel products with Canada.

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