Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs addresses the media during a news conference in Toronto on Thursday, March 8, 2018. NAFTA negotiating teams will keep bargaining through the weekend in an effort to get a deal by early May. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Ottawa details list of U.S. tariff targets, offers up to $2B in support

Ottawa also released details Friday of a financial aid package for industries and workers caught in the crossfire

The federal Liberal government is taking its cross-border trade dispute with the United States up a notch, unveiling an extensive final list of $16.6-billion worth of American imports that will be hit with retaliatory tariffs this weekend.

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

“It is with regret that we take these countermeasures, but the U.S. tariffs leave Canada no choice but to defend our industries, our workers and our communities, and we will remain firm in doing so,” Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement.

She unveiled the details — including a finished list of U.S. products on Canada’s hit list, which takes effect Sunday — during a news conference at a steel factory in Hamilton.

“The real solution to this unfortunate and unprecedented dispute,” she said, ”is for the United States to rescind its tariffs on our steel and aluminum.”

Aside from reciprocal tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the U.S., the items to be subject to 10 per cent duties come from a wide range of sectors — from ketchup, to lawn mowers, to playing cards.

Related: A look at the numbers behind Ottawa’s tariff reprisal against Trump

Related:Trump’s calling Trudeau ‘dishonest and weak’ sparks calls for calm

It’s all part of Ottawa’s plan to strike back at the U.S. in response to hefty steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump several weeks ago.

The government’s decision to stand up to Trump by striking back with countermeasures has attracted wide support in Canada — but domestic businesses, particularly those in the steel sector, have expressed deep concerns about any escalation in the trade battle.

More broadly, the effects of the trade fight are expected to hurt both economies, which includes putting jobs at risk and potentially raising consumer prices on both sides of the border.

The federal support package is similar to the one offered by Ottawa last year in response U.S. duties on softwood lumber products from Canada.

For the latest dispute, the government intends to help affected workers by extending the duration of work-sharing agreements under the employment insurance program by an additional 38 weeks. The aim is to help businesses retain skilled workers and avoid layoffs during any rough patches ahead.

Ottawa is also promising to boost funding for the provinces and territories to increase job and training programs, and to provide liquidity support for impacted businesses.

Through its strategic innovation fund, Ottawa is also offering up to $250 million in support in an effort to reinforce the competitiveness of Canadian manufacturers and strengthen the integration of Canada’s steel and aluminum supply chain.

The government also plans to invest $50 million over five years to help firms take full advantage of recent trade agreements, including Canada’s deal with the European Union and its membership in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The funding will feature new grants.

The federal government also reiterated Friday that it has taken steps and introduced safeguards to address concerns about diversion and dumping of products into the Canadian market.

Last week, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross expressed concerns about the world’s overproduction and overcapacity of steel, saying the U.S. tariffs against Canada and other allies are designed to force them into action.

Freeland has long insisted that Canada introduced stronger safeguards on steel well before the U.S. imposed the tariffs.

She said the measures were put in place not only to ensure Canada is a good trading partner, but primarily to protect Canada’s own national interest by keeping Chinese steel and aluminum from being dumped into the market.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Wetaskiwin’s visitor centre building back on the market

Surplus property relisted due to purchaser not meeting sale conditions: city

Wetaskiwin carjacking sees 76 year old woman’s vehicle stolen

Wetaskiwin RCMP with Crime Reduction Unit charge robbery suspects

EIR Celebrates 50 Years at the Moose Lodge in Wetaskiwin

Edmonton Raceway presents awards at ceremony Nov. 3

Wetaskiwin soldiers faced hardship, loneliness in WWI

Letters from local soldiers who fought 100 years ago

County of Wetaskiwin won’t allow rec cannabis in campsites

If you want to smoke marijuana, you’ll have to go in the camper

First Nation marks ‘milestone’ land deal at Alberta ceremony

Lubicon Lake First Nation Chief Billy-Joe Laboucan signed treaty last month

What now for Calgary, Canada and Olympic Games after 2026 rejection?

Calgary, along with the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C., made Canada a player in the international sport community

Naked man arrested for impaired driving

The man allegedly fled the scene of a collision wearing only a sheet. Plus other Ponoka RCMP briefs

Sex-misconduct survey excludes vulnerable military members: Survivors’ group

But It’s Just 700 says recent research has shown young military members and those on training are among those most at risk for sexual violence

Many child killers have been placed in Indigenous healing lodges according to stats

As of mid-September, there were 11 offenders in healing lodges who had been convicted of first- or second-degree murder of a minor

Expect no quick end to Canada-wide cannabis shortages, producers warn

Provinces including British Columbia, Alberta have all reported varying degrees of shortages

Canada Post strike having ‘critical’ impact on retailers, eBay tells PM

Canada Post says it is now facing an unprecedented backlog of shipments, largely as a result of strikes

NASA wants Canadian boots on the moon as first step in deep space exploration

The U.S. is seeking broad international support for the next-generation space station to send into orbit a in 2021

B.C. man wanted in connection to domestic assault in Edmonton

Sterling Miles Booker has ‘ROCK’ and ‘ROLL’ tattooed on his hands

Most Read