On Sunday, Canada began imposing tariffs on many U.S. goods heading north of the border. The fines are retaliation for the Trump administration’s new taxes on steel and aluminum imported to the United States from Canada and other trade partners.
President Donald Trump angered Canada, China, Mexico, and other U.S. allies by declaring imported steel and aluminum a threat to America’s national security. Trump believes that makes those items a reasonable target for U.S. tariffs.
Under Canada’s new fines, some U.S. products, mostly steel and iron, face 25% Canadian tariffs—the same penalty the United States slapped on imported steel at the end of May. Other U.S. imports, from ketchup and lawnmowers to frozen pizza and dishwasher detergent, will face a 10% tariff at the Canadian border, the same as America’s tax on imported aluminum.
“We will not escalate and we will not back down,” says Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland. Canada is the United States’ second-biggest trading partner in goods, just behind China.
Canadian lawmakers chose many U.S. products for their political impact. For example, Canada imports just $3 million worth of yogurt from the U.S. annually. But most of it comes from one plant in Wisconsin—the home state of House Speaker Paul Ryan. Now the product faces a 10% tax.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau thanked Canadians for standing united against Trump’s sanctions. He urged Canadians to “make their choices accordingly” when considering whether to buy American products.
As part of his America First approach, Trump has repeatedly attacked the trade policies of the United States’ northern neighbor. He cites Canada’s triple-digit tariffs on dairy products, which account for about 0.1 percent of U.S.-Canada trade.
(AP Photo: Chrystia Freeland meets with employees during a visit to a Canadian steel company.)