Canada announces billions of dollars in tariffs against US

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As temperatures and tensions increase, the measures targeting 16.6 billion Canadian dollars ($12.6 billion) in US steel, aluminum and consumer goods will take effect on Sunday, when Canadians celebrate a national holiday and just days before Americans celebrate Independence Day amid a heatwave expected in both countries.

These tariffs will go into effect on July 1, Canadian foreign affairs minister Chrystia Freeland confirmed at a press conference in Hamilton, Ontario, on June 29. Some items will be subject to taxes of 10 or 25 percent.

Last year, approximately 55 percent of Canada's total steel imports came from the US, with the remaining 45 percent split among Brazil, China, South Korea and Turkey.

Jim Watson, a Liberal Party politician serving as Ottawa's mayor since 2010, told reporters Thursday that he's boycotting the USA ambassador's annual Independence Day party over the Trump administration's recent anti-Canadian sentiments.

The country is also said to be preparing a further set of quotas and tariffs on steel from other countries, to prevent dumping or diversion after the US tariffs kicked in.

Major automakers and manufacturers on Friday warned against imposing tariffs in filings with US Commerce Department, which President Donald Trump instructed in May to look into protecting the auto industry.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, Industry Minister Navdeep Bains and Employment Minister Patty Hajdu unveiled Canada's finalized tariff plan during a visit to the Stelco plant in the industrial port city of Hamilton.

"It is a reciprocal action".

Ms. Freeland said such a move would be "absolutely absurd". "We are perfectly within our rights to respond".

The source, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the situation, said Freeland will announce the aid and reveal a list of USA goods that Canada intends to subject to retaliatory tariffs.

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USA officials have also linked the tariffs to slow progress in talks to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump says is a disaster and must be changed. "It would change the calculus", he 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.

Canada's steel and aluminum industries have made North American steel and aluminum more competitive around the world.

Canada and Mexico were initially exempted from the U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs but Trump ended this in July amid stalled talks to revamp a 1994 trilateral trade deal. "Or it was, until Mr. Trump started applying weird restrictions, tariffs under the guise of national security, which is, of course, ludicrous".

Trudeau also spoke to Mexican President Enrique Pena Neito and updated him on Canada's response to the U.S tariffs.

"I think that prediction has been borne out and I think all of us anticipate there will be some moments of drama in the future".

But before we pop open a cold Canadian beer on Sunday to celebrate standing up to Trump, keep in mind this trade war, even if it doesn't escalate further, will raise the price of products on both sides of the border. "They are prepared for this", said Dan Ujczo, a trade lawyer in Columbus, Ohio.

The US is also exposed to thousands of potential job losses, as higher costs for steel and aluminium hurt US firms and trigger retaliation from Canada and elsewhere.

Ottawa also released details Friday of a financial aid package for industries caught in the crossfire - and it includes up to $2 billion in fresh funding and support for workers in Canada's steel, aluminum and manufacturing sectors.

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