In response to the punitive tariffs imposed by the United States on Canadian aluminum products, Canada announced that it would also impose surcharges on imports from this neighboring country. Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said in the capital Ottawa that he would act “resolutely and decisively” to protect his aluminum industry. “For every dollar of tariffs the U.S. adds to Canadian imports, we will also charge a corresponding fee.”
Freeland emphasized that the US punitive tariffs are “unnecessary, unreasonable and totally unacceptable.” She added: “Canada’s aluminum is very important to American industry, including the US military industry.” Freeland also stated that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will first consult with a detailed list of products subject to tax increases. On September 16, “countermeasures” with tax payments of up to 3.6 billion Canadian dollars (2.3 billion euros) will take effect.
Tariff increased by 10%
U.S. President Trump announced on Thursday (August 7) ??that a 10% punitive tariff on aluminum imports from Canada will be imposed again. He has signed corresponding laws to protect the American economy. During a visit to a washing machine factory in Ohio, Trump said: “Canada has been using us.” He accused Canada of dumping cheap products into the US market and destroying American jobs. Critics believe that tariffs will make products more expensive, both for American companies and domestic consumers.
Two years ago, Trump already imposed 25% on steel in many countries, including Canada, and a 10% punitive tariff on aluminum. The EU is also affected by these import surcharges. At that time, Canada also took countermeasures to increase tariffs on American imports. Less than a year later, the two neighboring countries reached an agreement to eliminate punitive tariffs.
Trump now stated that at the time he agreed to cancel the increase in tariffs, Canada “not dumped products to our country, and did not stifle all jobs in our aluminum industry.” But Canadian manufacturers “violated” this promise. According to data released by the US government, Canada’s aluminum exports to the US have increased by 27%.
Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Freeland called Trump’s accusations “ridiculous”, but at the same time she also expressed willingness to hold negotiations on this. She said: “We will not make the situation worse, but we will not shrink back.” The domestic aluminum industry has created approximately 10,000 jobs and is “important to Canada’s economy.”
The punitive tariffs in the United States will take effect on August 16. The United States announced the decision just a few weeks after the new free trade agreement (USMCA) signed between the United States, Canada and Mexico took effect in early July. Trump, who will fight for re-election in the November presidential election, has long pursued a trade protectionist policy.