Canada has issued a notice of intent to impose countermeasures action against the US.
On Thursday morning, the US government said that it’s about to impose tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum imports. As of midnight on May 31, a 25% tariff on steel and a 10% tariff on aluminum from the European Union, Canada and Mexico will go into effect.
“These tariffs are totally unacceptable,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in response.
“The numbers are clear: The United States has a $2 billion US dollars surplus in steel trade with Canada – and Canada buys more American steel than any other country in the world, half of US steel exports.”
Trudeau added that Canada is a secure supplier of aluminum and steel to the US defence industry, “putting aluminum in American planes and steel in American tanks.”
American tariffs on Canadian aluminum & steel are unacceptable. As we have said, we will always stand up for our workers, and today we’re announcing retaliatory measures to this attack on our industry.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) May 31, 2018
He said that the idea that Canada could be considered a national security threat to the United States “is inconceivable.”
The federal government believes that the tariffs will harm industry and workers on both sides of the Canada-US border, and disrupt linked supply chains that have made North American steel and aluminum more competitive around the world.
In its countermeasure, Canada said it intends to impose surtaxes or similar trade-restrictive countermeasures against up to $16.6 billion in imports of steel, aluminum, and other products from the US. The government is also considering whether additional measures may be required.
“Canada will impose tariffs against imports of steel, aluminum, and other products from the US – we are imposing dollar for dollar tariffs for every dollar levied against Canadians by the US,” said Trudeau, adding that the countermeasures will only apply to goods originating from the US and will take effect on July 1, and will remain in place until the US eliminates its trade-restrictive measures against Canada.
“Canada will also challenge these illegal & counterproductive measures under NAFTA Chapter 20 and at the WTO,” he said. “It is simply ridiculous to view any trade with Canada as a national security threat to the US and we will continue to stand up for Canadian workers & Canadian businesses.”
Blaming large trade deficits with Mexico and Canada in March, US President Donald Trump said that he’d be imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum unless a “fair” NAFTA deal is signed.
“We are on the losing side of almost all trade deals. Our friends and enemies have taken advantage of the US for many years. Our Steel and Aluminum industries are dead. Sorry, it’s time for a change,” said President Donald Trump earlier this year.
Trump has yet to tweet about the Canada/US tariffs today.