Freeland plans to tax new US products

Ottawa plans to add new products to its list of tariffs put in place in response to US imposed steel and aluminum taxes on Canada, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said Tuesday.

“We are thinking, as always, of ways to refresh the list of reprisals to make an even bigger impact,” the minister told reporters in Ottawa.

In July 2018, Canada responded to Washington-imposed Canadian steel and aluminum taxes with $16.6 billion worth of US products including ketchup, bourbon and orange juice.

This action followed the decision by US President Donald Trump to impose a 25% tax on steel imports and 10% on aluminum imports from Canada.

Canada’s ambassador to Washington, David MacNaughton, told reporters on Monday that a “significant number” of US agricultural products such as apples, pork and wine could be included in the list.

However, this decision should not be seen as a new escalation in the trade dispute between the two countries, according to his remarks transcribed by Politico.

The added products would instead offset the shortfall created when Canada waived tariffs on more than $285 million worth of goods from the United States, he said.

“Canada has immediately considered these tariffs illegal and unfair. Frankly, they are absurd, “recalled Freeland.

In late March, the Canadian Minister pointed out that the maintenance of US tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum raises “serious questions” about the ratification by the Ottawa Parliament of the new North American Free Trade Agreement. The Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (ACEUM) concluded in late September.

“Many Canadians have told me they would be really upset that Canada move forward with ratification while rates are still in force,” said Freeland.