After weeks of conflict between Canada and the United States, Canada has imposed tariffs on U.S. products.
The tariffs were enacted in response to U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, which caused a great deal of tension between U.S. President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The American measures were applied at the end of May and comprised a 25% tariff. Canada imposed equal tariffs on similar products. Overall, the tariffs apply to $12.6 billion of U.S. goods.
Trump announced that he would be enacting tariffs on Canada merely days before a G7 summit between the U.S. and its trading allies. He stated that said Canadian imports represented a “national security threat” to the United States. Trudeau commented publicly that he thought this was highly inaccurate and very offensive to the Canadian people. Trudeau stated:
One of the things that I have to admit I’m having a lot of trouble getting around is the idea that this entire thing is coming about because the president and the administration have decided that Canada and Canadian steel and aluminum is a national security threat to the United States. The idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is quite frankly insulting and unacceptable.”
The situation was made even worse when several U.S. officials used harsh expressions in reference to Trudeau. One official stated that there was a “special place in hell” for the Canadian Prime Minister.
Trump had the opportunity to resolve the situation at the G7 summit, but instead decided to leave early. He also did not participate in the usual joint statement between all the leaders.
Trump stated via Twitter that Trudeau was nice and cooperative with him in person, but that he applied harsh legislation after their meeting.
Trump defended his measures against Canada by citing the country’s triple-digit tariffs on U.S. dairy products. Dairy products comprise 0.1% of the U.S.-Canada trade economy.
Canadian citizens started a campaign to boycott traditional U.S. products in response to Trump’s comments and tariffs, and canceled planned trips to America as well.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was one of the first world leaders to comment on Trump’s actions, calling them “depressing” and “sobering.”
Merkel stated that the E.U. will not allow the Trump Administration’s abuse to continue. She remarked that the G7 summit did not mark an end to the relationship between the U.S. and the E.U., but it did highlight the need for the E.U to not rely upon its transatlantic partner moving forward.
Mexico was quick to respond to Trump’s tariffs as well, as the country announced its planned twenty percent tariffs on U.S. pork. These tariffs could result in U.S. pork farmers losing over a hundred million dollars annually. Several farmers stated their distrust regarding President Trump’s actions.
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