Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland

Canada imposes retaliatory tariff on US after latter levied 10% duty on Canadian aluminium

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On Friday, Canada imposed retaliatory tariff on import of US goods worth $2.7 billion. The trade war between US and Canada sparked after the US President Donald Trump reimposed about 10% duty on Canadian aluminium. Trump announced his decision on Thursday, during his speech at a Whirlpool manufacturing plant in Ohio, where he signed a proclamation regarding the new tariff. Trump said that aluminium imports from Canada was harming the domestic aluminium industry. He said, “The aluminum business was being decimated by Canada,” he said.

Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, who was quick to revert, took to Twitter to announce: “In response to the American tariffs announced today, Canada will impose countermeasures that will include dollar-for-dollar retaliatory tariffs. We will always stand up for our aluminum workers. We did so in 2018 and we will stand up for them again now.” Canada’s retaliatory tariffs would come into effect by 16 September.

“Canada will respond swiftly and strongly,” said Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland at a media briefing. She added, “We will impose dollar-for-dollar countermeasures in a balanced and perfectly reciprocal retaliation,” she said. “We will not escalate and we will not back down.”

Last year US decided to lift the tariff on Canadian steel and aluminium imports which had earlier been imposed on grounds of “national security”. The proclamation signed by the US President highlighted that according to the US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross Canadian aluminum imports “increased substantially” after the duty on its aluminium was lifted in mid-2019. Ross argued that surge in Canadian imports “threatens to harm domestic aluminum production and capacity utilization”.

On Friday, in a counter argument to the US claims, Freeland said, “In imposing these tariffs, the United States has taken the absurd decision to harm its own people at a time when its economy is suffering the deepest crisis since the Great Depression.”

“These tariffs are unnecessary, unwarranted and entirely unacceptable,” she added. “They should not be imposed. Let me be clear: Canadian aluminum is in no way a threat to U.S. national security, which remains the ostensible reason for these tariffs, and that is a ludicrous notion.”

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