‘Will not back down’: Canada imposes billions in retaliatory tariffs against US

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In Ottawa, Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre blamed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for overspending public dollars and instituting policies that he said help Trump kill jobs in Canada.

Trudeau also spoke by phone with President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico.

President Trump's tariffs on Canadian products and attacks against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have prompted the mayor of Ottawa, the country's capital and fourth-largest city, to skip an invite-only Fourth of July party being held at the us ambassador's residence next week.

"The two leaders agreed to stay in close touch on a way forward", it said.

The prime minister's tariffs on USA goods cut a broad swath from steel and aluminum to whiskies, toilet paper, washing machines, motorboats - even maple syrup.

Woodbridge says he heard about the possibility of retaliatory tariffs on the television news shortly after President Trump imposed tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, citing US national security concerns.

Trump is also threatening to impose tariffs on Canadian autos, which would cause significantly more economic harm.

"I've expressed our willingness to return anytime, anywhere to discuss this issue", Freeland said.

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.

Ottawa maintains that the United States enjoys a US$2 billion annual trade surplus on iron and steel products with Canada.

Freeland said she spoke six times this week to U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerMcConnell urges GOP senators to call Trump about tariffs Companies brace for trade war MORE about the impending tariffs that will hit a wide range of U.S. products. That might change with the prospect of auto tariffs, though she stated that she hopes common sense would prevail.

"There's too much at stake", she 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.

Freeland, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, and Employment and Labour Minister Patty Hajdu also announced that their government will offer compensation to affected businesses and will tweak the employment insurance program to keep workers in Canada. The situation means it's now a top priority for stalled NAFTA talks to get moving as soon as possible, he said.

In response, the European Union has developed a list of products it may subject to retaliatory tariffs.

"Frankly, had we done nothing, I think Canada would really have lost out at the end of the day".

"I'm not expecting this to create the kind of waves that are going to make any big difference", Mr. Watson said Thursday. "But from the US perspective, it took the threat of tariffs to do that, to prod Canada toward that goal".

The U.S. Department of Commerce is holding hearings on auto tariffs in late July and will subsequently release an investigative report about whether they threaten national security.

"Canada has to choice but to retaliate with a measured, reciprocal dollar-for-dollar response".

On this front, Ottawa feels it has more work to do.

Officials say the measures are designed in part to pressure Trump by focusing on goods from states where his political allies hold sway.