OTTAWA — Tariffs proposed by Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland on American-made aluminum products could extend into a wide range of consumer products in Canada, including everything from staples to washing machines to golf clubs.
The retaliatory tariffs, floated on Friday in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s 10 per cent levies on some raw aluminum products, is the latest salvo in a revived trade dispute between the two countries. Government officials estimate the Canadian tariffs will amount to roughly $3.6 billion on imported raw aluminum and aluminum products. They will come into force September 16 following a 30-day consultation.
Mark Warner, lawyer at Toronto-based MAAW Law, said Ottawa’s response was restrained in the sense that it exclusively targets aluminum products, rather than escalating the dispute by introducing tariffs on a range of other goods.
Even so, the move does widen the scope to include consumer products, unlike levies by Trump that exclusively targeted raw supplies of the metallic element. Canada and the U.S. signed a joint statement in May 2019 that limited retaliatory tariffs to in-kind imports, stipulating that only “affected sectors” could be included in reciprocal levies.