Ontario Premier Doug Ford called out President Donald Trump’s actions of imposing a 10% tariff on Canadian aluminum, saying the move is a “backstab” and “unacceptable.”
On Friday, Ford became visibly heated when discussing the US president’s latest economic move, which he declared on August 6.
“It’s unacceptable what President Trump did, we’re his closest allies. We’re supposed to be part of the big family and he backstabs us like this? It’s unacceptable,” the premier said.
“We are an economic powerhouse and their number one customer. I am a businessman and I would never go after my number one customer and slap them in the face like President Trump did.”
Ford said that Ontario will come back “swinging like they’ve never seen before” and that Canada does around a trillion dollars of trade with the US annually, providing a $9 billion surplus.
“Give your head shake. It’s frustrating.”
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When calling for retaliatory measures, Ford said that he is encouraging the deputy prime minister to tax every item “dollar for dollar” but said the most powerful response can come from consumers buying products made in Canada.
“Say proudly ‘Made in Canada.’ Let’s start buying products made here. They’re going to feel the effects. There are nine million American jobs down there because of our trade,” Ford said.
He emphasized that Ontario is the number one trading partner with 19 states and if consumers buy Canadian or the Made-In-Ontario logo products, it will have a significant impact on Ontario employees and manufacturers.
According to the premier, if each consumer buys one in 10 products from Canada then it can cost the US around $17 billion dollars.
“We’re up against a real battle right now, it’s us versus them. Attacking us during a pandemic is totally unacceptable. We’re a consumer giant, so folks please, this weekend when in the grocery store see where the product is manufactured and if it’s from Canada, buy it.”
On Thursday, President Trump imposed the tariffs saying Canada was taking advantage of the US.
Trump said that Canadian aluminum producers, “have broken that commitment and the US trade representative has advised me that this step to reimpose tariffs is absolutely necessary.”
To be a strong nation, “America must be a manufacturing nation and not be led by a bunch of fools,” he added.
In response to Trump’s announcement, Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland, called the move “unwarranted and unacceptable,” and said Canada intends to “swiftly impose dollar-for-dollar countermeasures.”
Canadian aluminum “does not undermine US national security,” Freeland said in a statement. “Canadian aluminum strengthens US national security and has done so for decades through unparalleled cooperation between our two countries.”