The Canadian federal government has announced that it has taken countermeasures to the 25% steel and 10% aluminum tariffs imposed by the US, coming in the form of $16.6bn worth of US import levies.
The aim of the tariffs from a US viewpoint is to try and bolster the country’s national aluminum and steel manufacturing industries, sourcing more of these materials domestically. However, the impact on Canada is set to be huge, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau describing the decision as “totally unacceptable.”
“Canada intends to impose surtaxes or similar trade-restrictive countermeasures against up to CAD$16.6 billion in imports of steel, aluminum, and other products from the US, representing the value of 2017 Canadian exports affected by the US measures,” a statement from the Department of Finance Canada said. “The Government is also considering whether additional measures may be required.”
A variety of goods are included within the $16.6bn of duties, from steel to playing cards.
The response from Canada marks the strongest trade action the country has made in the post-war era, with Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland stating that although Canada’s own actions are also significant, they are significantly proportionate and “perfectly reciprocal”.
Canada, Mexico and the European Union had previously been exempted from these import duties when they were initially imposed back in March. However, these exemptions will expire today, with US President Donald Trump citing national security interests.