Justin Trudeau furious over Trump’s steel tariffs, says Canada will retaliate

DCNFChris White, DCNF

(Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called President Donald Trump’s steel tariffs against his country’s products “inconceivable” and threatened to retaliate in kind within the coming months.

Trudeau called Trump’s protectionist gambit “totally unacceptable” during a Thursday afternoon press conference. It is “inconceivable” that “Canada could be considered a national security threat to the United States,” he added.

Canada will impose tariffs against American steel and aluminum in the amount of $16.6 billion at rates of 25 percent and 10 percent, a number representing the total value of Canada’s 2017 steel and aluminum U.S. exports. They’ll go into effect on July 1 and stay in place until the U.S. ends its own tariffs.

Tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum from the European Union, Canada and Mexico will take effect Thursday at midnight, Wilbur Ross, the U.S. commerce secretary, told The New York Times Thursday. All three together supply nearly half of America’s imported metal.

Trump’s move is one in a long line of attempts to foist tariffs on all manner of foreign products. The president announced in April, for instance, that the U.S. would impose trade restrictions on roughly $50 billion in annual Chinese exports in response to alleged Chinese intellectual property theft and forced technology transfer.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative published a list of around 1,300 Chinese products expected to be subject to the new tariffs.

China retaliated against the president’s steel and aluminum tariffs with tariffs on around $3 billion in U.S. exports to China. Beijing has repeatedly stated that it will hit back in a trade war, stressing that China’s response will be of the same scale and intensity.

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