OTTAWA — The federal Liberal government is taking its cross-border trade dispute with the United States up a notch, unveiling an extensive final list of $16.6-billion worth of American imports that will be hit with retaliatory tariffs this weekend.
Ottawa also released details Friday of a financial aid package for industries caught in the crossfire — and it includes up to $2 billion in fresh funding and support for workers in Canada’s steel, aluminum and manufacturing sectors.
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland unveiled the details — including a finished list of U.S. products on Canada’s hit list, which takes effect Sunday — during a news conference at a steel factory in Hamilton.
Aside from reciprocal tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the U.S., the items to be subject to 10% duties come from a wide range of sectors — from ketchup, to lawn mowers, to playing cards.
Freeland billed Canada’s response as dollar-for-dollar countermeasures that are part of a perfectly reciprocal retaliation to what she called the “illegal” and “absurd” tariffs imposed by the Trump administration.
“We are perfectly within our rights to respond — I’d also like to point out that Canada has quite intentionally been measured and restrained in its response,” said Freeland, who was joined at the announcement by Trudeau cabinet colleagues Patty Hajdu and Navdeep Bains
There are fears, however, that Canadian tariffs — some of which target businesses in states that are important to Trump and his supporters — could lead to fresh trade action from the U.S.
Trump himself has already threatened to slap tariffs on the automotive sector, which could prove far worse for the Canadian economy than the steel and aluminum duties.