In this March 5, 2018 photo, a worker manipulates coils of steel at Xiwang Special Steel in Zouping County in eastern China’s Shandong province. China says it “firmly opposes” U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariff increase for imported steel and aluminum but gave no indication whether Beijing might impose its own measures in response. (Chinatopix via AP)

Canadian retaliatory tariffs lifted as U.S. kills steel aluminum penalties

Canada’s ratification of the new North American trade agreement hinged on the tariffs coming off

Canada collected more than $1.27 billion from the retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products over the last year and all of it will go to the Canadian steel and aluminum industry even though the steel trade war with the United States is over.

Canada and the United States reached an agreement Friday to see the U.S. lift the nearly year-old import duties on steel and aluminum President Donald Trump imposed last June arguing the imports threatened national security. Canada had always called the tariffs illegal and absurd and demanded they be lifted immediately.

Canada’s ratification of the new North American trade agreement also hinged on the tariffs coming off.

That officially happened Monday and as a result Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Canada had also lifted the retaliatory duties Canada imposed on U.S. steel and aluminum and more than 70 other U.S. products including licorice, coffee, sleeping bags and ketchup.

“The removal of tariffs and countermeasures is a true win-win for everyone involved, and great news for Canadian and American workers, for our communities, and our economies,” Morneau said in a written statement.

Trump tweeted late Sunday that U.S. farmers “can begin doing business again with Mexico and Canada.”

READ MORE: Long-awaited end to Canada’s tariff standoff with U.S. finally at hand

READ MORE: Trudeau offers Canadian lumber, steel to help rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral

“They have both taken the tariff penalties off of your great agricultural product,” Trump wrote. “Please be sure that you are treated fairly.”

A Canadian official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter, said Trump’s tweet reinforces to Canada that “our retaliatory tariffs were key to resolving this.”

The Canadian tariffs were carefully selected to both match the dollar value of the tariffs Canadian companies were paying to the U.S., as well as to target popular products in states of prominent Republican lawmakers or swing states where voters might voice their displeasure.

That included, for example, Kentucky bourbon from the home state of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and pickles, gherkins, lawn mowers and yogurt, which are all big industries in Wisconsin, the state of former House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan. Chocolate and toilet paper, key exports from Pennsylvania which is home to Hershey and the Scott Paper Company, were among the swing-state products targeted, as was Florida orange juice.

Canada’s tariffs imposed a 25 per cent surtax on U.S. steel imports, and 10 per cent on aluminum and the other 75 listed products. A Finance official said as of April 30, Canada had collected $1.27 billion from the retaliatory measures, but that figure is expected to climb as Canada Border Services Agency gets final reports from Canadian importers.

Canada announced a $2 billion aid package to the steel and aluminum industry to help them weather the impact of the U.S. trade war, including exempting Canadian companies from paying the import duties on steel and aluminum if they couldn’t source the product within Canada or had contracts requiring them to import from the United States.

Funds were also there to help with work sharing agreements, training and diversifying export markets.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau indicated Friday that the funds to help the industry are not being erased even though the tariffs have been lifted.

“The financial assistance is still there,” he said. ”We made $2 billion worth of commitments last summer to support our industry. We’re going to continue to look at how the industry can continue to grow and invest.”

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Surrey 37 per cent behind in housing supply projections

Of 18 cities in Metro Vancouver, only City of North Vancouver and Richmond met or exceeded projections

Winning Christmas card art shown at Surrey gallery

Arts Council of Surrey’s annual competition won by Edwin Stephen and Nancy Painter

‘A labour of love’: High school turns into ‘toy shop’ for Surrey Christmas Bureau

Fraser Heights Secondary has been making toys for the non-profit for more than a decade

Surrey, White Rock players hit court for NCAA Volleyball Championships

National tournament held in various cities across U.S. this month

MAP: Christmas light displays in Surrey and beyond

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

B.C. pharmaceutical company’s stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Braille signs coming to TransLink bus stops in 2020

Transit authority says it’s the first to do so in Canada and the United States

Six B.C. municipalities accepted as interveners in Supreme Court of Canada carbon-pricing case

Victoria, Vancouver, Squamish, Richmond, Nelson and Rossland have intervener status

CUPE issues 72-hour strike notice for SkyTrain

Local 7000 release states ‘parties are still bargaining’, union will have job action plan by Saturday

Abbotsford man was ‘unintended victim’ of 2018 fatal shooting, police say

Jagvir Malhi, 19, was gunned down while on his way to university

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

Province wants to seize Langley property connected to drug lab

The Office of Civil Forfeiture is targeting a property on Fraser Highway

Most Read