Prime Minister Justin Trudeau‘s government released the final list of items that will be targeted beginning July 1. Some items will be subject to taxes of 10 or 25 percent.
Trudeau and President Donald Trump spoke late Friday, in what may have been their first direct conversation since Trump tweeted that Trudeau was “weak” and “dishonest” after leaving the G-7 meetings in Quebec earlier this month.
“As he has said in past conversations and in public, the Prime Minister conveyed that Canada has had no choice but to announce reciprocal countermeasures to the steel and aluminum tariffs that the United States imposed on June 1, 2018,” Trudeau’s office said in a statement.
On Friday, Canada unveiled the list of US goods that it plans to hit with tariffs, or border taxes, beginning on Sunday.
Canada’s latest move is in response to Trump’s sweeping tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum exports that went into effect at the end of May. And they confirm that even the US’s closest allies will not turn the other cheek as the Trump administration pursues the most aggressive protectionist trade agenda it has in decades.
“We will not back down,” Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Friday.
Canada will tax US steel exports at a rate of 25 percent, and the rest of the goods will be taxed at a 10 percent rate. Altogether, they’re planning to target $12.6 billion worth of American goods, which matches the value of the new US tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum.
It’s a move that highlights the downside of Trump’s America First trade agenda: When he takes steps to protect one domestic industry from foreign competition, other countries take steps to lash out at other US industries.
Canadians are particularly worried about auto tariffs because the industry is critical to Canada’s economy.
“I don’t think we’ll see any reaction from the Trump administration. They are prepared for this,” said Dan Ujczo, a trade lawyer in Columbus, Ohio. “Candidly, the Canadian retaliation is a drop in the bucket compared to the retaliation that we’re going to see from China and elsewhere.”