Canada vows retaliatory measures as Trump restores tariff on Canadian aluminum

Canada vows retaliation

UPDATE 5:50 p.m.

The Trudeau government is promising to impose retaliatory tariffs on American products after U.S. President Donald Trump announced Thursday he is restoring an import tax on raw aluminum from Canada later this month.

"In response to the American tariffs, Canada intends to swiftly impose dollar-for-dollar countermeasures," Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a written statement.

She called Trump's decision to reimpose tariffs on Canadian aluminum "unwarranted and unacceptable" and suggested his timing couldn't be worse.

"In the time of a global pandemic and an economic crisis, the last thing Canadian and American workers need is new tariffs that will raise costs for manufacturers and consumers, impede the free flow of trade and hurt provincial and state economies."

Freeland noted that the new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement that replaced NAFTA went into force on July 1, including a provision that ensures 70 per cent of aluminum purchased by North American automakers must be produced in North America.

She argued that the trade deal partners should be using the new deal to "advance North American competitiveness — not hinder it."

As for Trump basing his decision on supposed national security concerns, Freeland said: "Canadian aluminum does not undermine U.S. national security. Canadian aluminum strengthens U.S. national security and has done so for decades through unparalleled co-operation between our two countries."

Details of the counter-tariffs Canada intends to impose are to be announced "shortly," the statement said. Freeland is to hold a news conference about the aluminum tariffs on Friday morning.

ORIGINAL 2:45 p.m.

U.S. President Donald Trump says he is reimposing tariffs on Canadian aluminum.

Trump says he signed a proclamation today that will put back in place the 10 per cent tariffs on raw aluminum imports from Canada.

He says "Canada was taking advantage of us, as usual."

In a speech at a Whirlpool factory in the battleground state of Ohio, Trump touted his record of defending American workers by fighting China, replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement and getting Canada to stop mistreating the U.S. dairy industry.

A subset of American metals companies have complained that Canadian aluminum has recently been dumped on the U.S. market.

Canadian aluminum-makers have said they switched production during the COVID-19 pandemic as demand for higher-end products crashed, and the resulting aluminum has been sent to the United States primarily for storage.

The Aluminium Association of Canada said last week those exports fell 16 per cent in June and 40 per cent in July as the system was starting to rebalance.

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