Canadians Rally Around Retaliatory Tariffs Aimed At The U.S.

"We will not escalate and we will not back down", she added, while urging Washington to reconsider its attack on the Canadian economy, and noting that the response was Ottawa's toughest trade action since World War II. Ottawa also unveiled 2 billion dollars ($ 1.5 billion) in aid for the two sectors.

"We have your back", Bains told the gathering, as he detailed federal assistance meant to minimize job losses.

Offering up to $250 million in new support through the Strategic Innovation Fund to help bolster the competitiveness of Canadian manufacturers and better integrate the Canadian supply chain of steel and aluminum.

Canada announced that it would be imposing tariffs on more than $12 billion American products.

Still the foreign affairs minister conceded that Ottawa is making contingency plans for any eventuality.

Freeland called the legal pretext used by the U.S.to impose the duties - that Canada poses a national security threat - "not only absurd, it's hurtful".

It reached new depths at the recent G7 summit when Trump abruptly rejected the joint statement and insulted his Canadian host, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Many lawmakers, including Republican proponents of free trade, would be likely to put up a fight.

Ryder was less optimistic about whether the USA would hold off on imposing further tariffs against Canada.

Canada and Mexico initially were exempted from the U.S. metals tariffs - as was the European Union - but Mr Trump allowed the duties to take effect on June 1 after talks stalled to revamp the 1994 trilateral North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta).

The former's tariffs on USA products such as apples, cranberries, whiskey, pork products and cheese were introduced on June 5, while the 28-country European bloc introduced a levy on more than $3 billion worth of US goods on June 29.

Jim Watson, a Liberal Party politician serving as Ottawa's mayor since 2010, told reporters Thursday that he's boycotting the USA ambassador's annual Independence Day party over the Trump administration's recent anti-Canadian sentiments.

Canada's tariffs are created to be a dollar-for-dollar response to the Trump administration's actions, which saw 25 per cent duties on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum coming from Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

"Any trade action is disruptive on both sides of the border", Freeland said.

Trump has explained the steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada by saying imported metals threatened the United States' national security - a justification that countries rarely use because it can be so easily abused. For example, Canada imports just $3 million worth of yoghurt from the U.S. annually and most of it comes from one plant in Wisconsin, the home state of House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Ritchie says there will be an impact from both countries' imposition of tariffs but Canada will be just fine.

The trade spat is occurring as the fate of NAFTA remains unclear.

Canada's foreign minister has vowed the country will "not back down" as the trade war with the USA escalates.

In a separate filing, Toyota Motor Corp said imposing tariffs on the auto industry imports would "threaten USA manufacturing, jobs, exports, and economic prosperity". A report from TD Economics estimated such a tariff would cause a recession in Canada and cost tens of thousands of jobs in Ontario's manufacturing heartland.

Higher tariffs would "lead to a smaller GM, a reduced presence at home and overseas for this iconic American company, and risk less - not more - U.S. jobs", the largest United States automaker said.

For companies, Ottawa is promising up to $1.7 billion worth of financing and services for steel and aluminum industries through the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada.

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

  • Rogelio Becker