Canada announces billions in retaliatory tariffs against US

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Canada struck back at the Trump administration over USA steel and aluminum tariffs on Friday, vowing to impose punitive measures on C$16.6 billion ($12.63 billion) worth of American goods until Washington relents.

While there were calls to impose the retaliatory tariffs immediately, the government opted to hold off until July 1 and hold consultations on the retaliatory measures on an array of USA goods.

Aside from tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the USA, dozens of additional consumer goods will be subject to 10 per cent duties - from ketchup, to lawn mowers, to playing cards. "That is what we are doing", said Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, making the announcement at a steel facility in Hamilton, Ontario where she was flanked by brawny workers in yellow hardhats. Some items will be subject to taxes of 10 or 25 percent.

In Ottawa, Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre blamed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for overspending public dollars and instituting policies that he said help Trump kill jobs in Canada. The idea is to have Canadians buy fewer of the American products or buy similar non-American products.

"We support open and free trade", said the chamber.

The source, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the situation, said Freeland will announce the aid and reveal a list of us goods that Canada intends to subject to retaliatory tariffs.

"Faced with these unjustified tariffs, the United States will take all necessary actions under both USA law and global rules to protect its interests", he said in the statement. That threat could be a negotiating ploy to restart talks on the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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They were announced just as America's largest automaker warned that overly broad tariffs could isolate USA businesses and cut jobs.

United States officials have linked the tariffs to slow progress in talks to modernise the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Mr Trump says is a disaster and must be changed.

Among the actions the chamber recommends are continuing to pursue the case through the World Trade Organization (WTO), trying to open new markets to Canadian goods beside the USA and making concessions to the Americans on areas such as supply management in dairy.

Canadians are particularly anxious about auto tariffs because the industry is critical to Canada's economy.

Ritchie says there will be an impact from both countries' imposition of tariffs but Canada will be just fine. "I think all of us, at this point, fully anticipate there will be some moments of drama in the future".

Canada hit back at the United States on Friday with retaliatory tariffs on American summertime essentials including Florida orange juice, ketchup and Kentucky bourbon in its opening salvo in a trade war with President Donald Trump.

Overall, Ujczo said Canada's retaliatory tariffs have been baked into the White House's calculus for months.

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The Trudeau government's decision to stand up to Trump with countermeasures has attracted wide support in Canada. For example, Canada imports just $3 million worth of yogurt from the US annually and most of it comes from one plant in Wisconsin, the home state of House Speaker Paul Ryan.

To help businesses retain skilled workers, the duration of work-sharing agreements will be doubled under the employment insurance program to 76 weeks from 38 weeks.

Ottawa is also vowing to boost funding for the provinces and territories to increase job and training programs. The product will now be hit with a 10 per cent duty.

Trump has explained the steel and aluminum tariffs by saying imported metals threatened the United States' national security - a justification that countries rarely use because it can be so easily abused.

- Investing $50 million to help companies diversify where their products are exported to.

Bains said the support is aimed at helping firms adjust to the hard circumstances while enabling them to continue to innovate along the way.

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