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Canada retaliates against US trade policies with tariffs on nearly $13 billion in US imports

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks on June 9 at the conclusion of the G7 summit in La Malbaie, Quebec. Canada announced that it would be imposing tariffs on more than $12 billion American products. (Lars Hagberg/AFP/Getty Images)

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland announced on Friday that Canada will slap tariffs on $12.63 billion in U.S. imports.

“We will not escalate and we will not back down,” Freeland told reporters in announcing the tariffs. “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.”

What are the details?

These tariffs will target U.S. steel and aluminum products, in direct retaliation for the new U.S. tariffs on raw steel and aluminum from Canada, as well as coffee, ketchup, whiskey, and other products. This means that products made in the U.S. with Canadian aluminum or steel and sold back to Canada will now be heavily taxed by both nations. These tariffs will take effect on Sunday.

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association said that $170 million in U.S. beef products would be hit by these tariffs.

Canada will also give $1.52 billion in U.S. dollars ($2 billion Canadian) to industries hurt by U.S. tariffs, and $1.29 billion of this will go to help the Canadian steel and aluminum industries.

Why is Canada imposing these tariffs?

On March 1, President Donald Trump announced that the United States would be imposing a 25 percent on all imports of steel into the United States, and a 10 percent tariff on all aluminum imports.

A small list of countries, including Canada, were initially given exemptions. However, on May 31, the White House announced that these exemptions would end that day.

Canada is the largest importer of steel and aluminum into the U.S. In 2017, Canada imported $4.3 billion in steel and $7.2 billion in aluminum to the United States.

What happens next?

Most likely even more tariffs. The Trump administration is currently considering adding tariffs on imports of cars from Canada, which Freeland called “absolutely absurd.”

How many tariffs are there on U.S. products now?

European Union: $3.2 billion. These tariffs target U.S. products including blue jeans, bourbon, peanut butter, and motorcycles. The tariff on motorcycles has led Harley-Davidson to consider shipping production of EU motorcycles out of the United States. Trump threatened to tax them “heavily” if they followed through on that.

China: $250 billion. For every tariff the U.S. slaps on it, China has responded with an equal tariff on imports from the United States. Trump has threatened to hit China with tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of products, which could lead to China nearly doubling the tariffs its imposed this year on American products.

India: $241 million (proposed) worth of large motorcycles, almonds, walnuts, apples, and 26 other U.S. products.

Turkey: $267 million worth of U.S. products including walnuts, coal, tobacco, whiskey, and automobiles.

Mexico: $3 billion. Tariffs on and from Canada and Mexico could be removed if the leaders of those countries can agree with Trump on a new version of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Freeland told reporters that she thought those negotiations would pick up steam after the next Mexican president was elected on Sunday.

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