In this March 5, 2018 photo, a worker manipulates coils of steel at Xiwang Special Steel in Zouping County in eastern China’s Shandong province. China says it “firmly opposes” U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariff increase for imported steel and aluminum but gave no indication whether Beijing might impose its own measures in response. (Chinatopix via AP)

Canadian retaliatory tariffs lifted as U.S. kills steel aluminum penalties

Canada’s ratification of the new North American trade agreement hinged on the tariffs coming off

Canada collected more than $1.27 billion from the retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products over the last year and all of it will go to the Canadian steel and aluminum industry even though the steel trade war with the United States is over.

Canada and the United States reached an agreement Friday to see the U.S. lift the nearly year-old import duties on steel and aluminum President Donald Trump imposed last June arguing the imports threatened national security. Canada had always called the tariffs illegal and absurd and demanded they be lifted immediately.

Canada’s ratification of the new North American trade agreement also hinged on the tariffs coming off.

That officially happened Monday and as a result Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Canada had also lifted the retaliatory duties Canada imposed on U.S. steel and aluminum and more than 70 other U.S. products including licorice, coffee, sleeping bags and ketchup.

“The removal of tariffs and countermeasures is a true win-win for everyone involved, and great news for Canadian and American workers, for our communities, and our economies,” Morneau said in a written statement.

Trump tweeted late Sunday that U.S. farmers “can begin doing business again with Mexico and Canada.”

READ MORE: Long-awaited end to Canada’s tariff standoff with U.S. finally at hand

READ MORE: Trudeau offers Canadian lumber, steel to help rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral

“They have both taken the tariff penalties off of your great agricultural product,” Trump wrote. “Please be sure that you are treated fairly.”

A Canadian official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter, said Trump’s tweet reinforces to Canada that “our retaliatory tariffs were key to resolving this.”

The Canadian tariffs were carefully selected to both match the dollar value of the tariffs Canadian companies were paying to the U.S., as well as to target popular products in states of prominent Republican lawmakers or swing states where voters might voice their displeasure.

That included, for example, Kentucky bourbon from the home state of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and pickles, gherkins, lawn mowers and yogurt, which are all big industries in Wisconsin, the state of former House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan. Chocolate and toilet paper, key exports from Pennsylvania which is home to Hershey and the Scott Paper Company, were among the swing-state products targeted, as was Florida orange juice.

Canada’s tariffs imposed a 25 per cent surtax on U.S. steel imports, and 10 per cent on aluminum and the other 75 listed products. A Finance official said as of April 30, Canada had collected $1.27 billion from the retaliatory measures, but that figure is expected to climb as Canada Border Services Agency gets final reports from Canadian importers.

Canada announced a $2 billion aid package to the steel and aluminum industry to help them weather the impact of the U.S. trade war, including exempting Canadian companies from paying the import duties on steel and aluminum if they couldn’t source the product within Canada or had contracts requiring them to import from the United States.

Funds were also there to help with work sharing agreements, training and diversifying export markets.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau indicated Friday that the funds to help the industry are not being erased even though the tariffs have been lifted.

“The financial assistance is still there,” he said. ”We made $2 billion worth of commitments last summer to support our industry. We’re going to continue to look at how the industry can continue to grow and invest.”

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Metlakatla “breaking the glass ceiling” with seniors’ housing

Grand opening for Cedar Village Seniors’ Housing in Prince Rupert

Remembering Rupert: A historical report on Prince Rupert during the Second World War

UPDATED: Only solider to die in Prince Rupert during WWII gets permanent memorial

Heart of Our City | The humble automotive mechanic next door

Frank Repole has been sponsoring Prince Rupert his whole career

Rainmakers rugby makes the trip to Kamloops for Sevens tournament

Competition is the largest of its kind in the country

Old Timers Tournament begins its third decade of action in Prince Rupert

Rupert teams take on visitors from Haida Gwaii, Kitimat, Terrace, Hazelton and Smithers

VIDEO: Don Cherry says he was fired, not sorry for ‘Coach’s Corner’ poppy rant

Cherry denies he was singling out visible minorities with his comments

Brian Burke considered favourite to replace Don Cherry

Brian Burke is the 5-4 pick to be the full-time replacement next season

Major donor Peter Allard takes UBC to court to get his name on all law degrees

Philanthropist claims school not adhering to 2014 agreement for his $30-million donation

Report predicts drug resistance likely to kill 400,000 Canadians by 2050

This increase is expected to cost Canada 396,000 lives, $120 billion in hospital expenses

Terrace RCMP investigating suspicious death of a man in Thornhill

Kamloops resident was found unresponsive early Sunday morning, died hours later

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Most Read