Tariffs: Ottawa maintains the hard line

Tarifs douaniers: Ottawa maintient la ligne dure

Photo: Sean Kilpatrick, The canadian Press
The minister of Innovation, Science and economic Development, Navdeep Bains

Ottawa rejected the request of the ontario minister of economic Development, to abandon unilaterally countervailing duties on canadian imposed in retaliation for the us tariff, arguing that this decision would be tantamount to a “surrender” of Canada.

The federal government has imposed in June last tariffs on u.s. imports of steel, aluminum and other products, of a value of $ 16.6 billion, when the United States imposed themselves of similar rights on the steel and aluminum in canada.

The ontario minister of economic Development, job Creation, Trade and commerce, Todd Smith, believes that these tariffs are detrimental to industries and to the workers of the two sides of the border. He argues that the abandonment by Canada of its “tariff retaliation” could then bring the United States to do the same.

Its federal counterpart, Navdeep Bains, has rejected that request Monday, saying in a statement that his government was working hard to put pressure on the Americans to put an end “once and for all” to commercial litigation. Ottawa, therefore, believes that the elimination of “unilateral and unconditional” of the countervailing canadians would be tantamount to a “surrender to a unilateral” against the Americans.


Mr. Smith and the minister of Economy and Innovation of the city of Québec, Pierre Fitzgibbon, have sent a letter to their federal counterparts requesting that Ottawa should review its support measures and ” to consider granting of compensations additional to businesses and workers affected.

The joint letter does not, however, reference to the request of the government of ontario to abandon the “tariff retaliation” canadians.

“Quebec and Ontario have generated, in 2017, 91 % of canadian steel exports and 92 % of canada’s exports of aluminium to the United States,” write the ministers in ontario and québec in their joint letter. “We find that the maintenance of the rates, not only affects our producers of steel and aluminum, but also the manufacturing sector as a whole. “

“It is essential that the government of Canada to obtain the full exemption and permanent tariffs on steel and aluminum “, “price” unjustified and illegal “, they write. “It is also important that Canada consents not to the imposition of measures which may restrict trade and undermine the competitiveness and growth of canadian industry, such as quotas. “

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