Canada has started imposing tariffs on $12.6 billion in U.S. goods as retaliation for the Trump administration’s new taxes on steel and aluminum imported to the United States, Fox News informed.
Several U.S. products, mostly steel and iron, are faced with 25 percent tariffs, the same penalty the United States slapped on imported steel in May. Other U.S. imports, from ketchup to pizza to dishwasher detergent, will have a 10 percent tariff at the Canadian border, the same as America’s tax on aluminum.
Speaking in Leamington, Ontario, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau thanked Canadians for standing united against President Donald Trump’s sanctions. He called on all Canadians to “make their choices accordingly” in considering whether to buy U.S. products.
Trump enraged Canada and other U.S. allies by declaring imported steel and aluminum a threat to America’s national security.
“We will not escalate, and we will not back down,” Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s foreign minister, said Friday.
Freeland also mentioned that she had a several conversations with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer about finding solution to the dispute over the tariffs.
The tariffs come amid an escalating feud between Canada and the U.S. over trade policy, after President Trump imposed steep steel and aluminum tariffs last month on Canada and other longtime U.S. allies.
The retaliatory measures were in the works for weeks after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Canada that the country would “not be pushed around.”
Trudeau’s comments drew the ire of Trump and his advisers, who declared that the prime minister had “stabbed us in the back.”
“The tariffs introduced by the United States on Canadian steel and aluminum are protectionist and illegal under [World Trade Organization] and [North American Free Trade Agreement] rules, the very rules that the United States helped to write,” Freeland said Friday.
“It is with regret that we take these countermeasures, but the U.S. tariffs leave Canada no choice but to defend our industries, our workers and our communities, and we will remain firm in doing so,” she said.
Canada is not the only country that has pushed back against U.S. tariffs. The European Union and China have prepared a list of U.S. goods that will be subject to additional taxes.
U.S. and international lawmakers have expressed concerns that the tit-for-tat trade policies will spark a global trade war.
Trump has repeatedly doubled down on his administration’s policies, vowing that trade wars are “easy to win” and claiming that the tariffs will ultimately bring other countries to the negotiating table.