Canada says it will retaliate against US steel or aluminium tariffs

Canada will act to defend its trade interests and workers, said Freeland (above), in a  statement.
Canada will act to defend its trade interests and workers, said Freeland (above), in a statement.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

OTTAWA (REUTERS) - Canada will retaliate if the United States imposes tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum products, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Thursday (March 1) after US President Trump announced tariffs in a move he said would protect US industry.

"Should restrictions be imposed on Canadian steel and aluminum products, Canada will take responsive measures to defend its trade interests and workers," Freeland said in a statement, calling any trade restrictions "absolutely unacceptable".

Canada buys more American steel than any other country, accounting for 50 per cent of US exports, and the steel and aluminum industry is highly integrated, supporting "critical North American manufacturing supply chains," Freeland added.

"The Canadian government will continue to make this point directly with the American administration at all levels," she said.

Trump said he would impose tariffs of 25 per cent on imported steel and 10 per cent on aluminium, in a move critics said would fail to boost jobs and risked stoking a trade war with China.

Trump, speaking after a meeting with US steel and aluminum makers, said the duties would be formally announced next week.