Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says Canada plans to levy tariff “Countermeasures” of its own on up to $16.6 billion worth of imports of steel, aluminum, and other products from the U.S. Freeland says the dollar-for-dollar countermeasures, which apply to a long list of U.S. products from flat-rolled steel to playing cards and felt-tipped pens, will go into effect July 1.
Freeland is making the announcement alongside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau following word from the White House that the U.S. will slap tariffs on Canadian, Mexican and European Union steel and aluminum as of midnight Thursday night.
She calls the U.S. measures illegal and counterproductive.
Trudeau says it’s impossible to seriously believe that Canada could ever be a national-security threat to an ally as close and important as the United States.
“That Canada could be considered a national-security threat to the United States is inconceivable,” he said, adding that the people of the U.S. are not the target of the countermeasures and that Canada would far prefer that its hand not be forced.
Canada, Mexico, and Europe had been exempted from import duties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum when they were first imposed in March, but those exemptions will expire as scheduled on Friday.
“The government of Canada is confident that shared values, geography, and common interests will ultimately overcome protectionism,” Trudeau said.