MOUNT JULIET, Tenn. (DTN) -- Canada announced a final list of items targeted for retaliation over U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs, hitting U.S. beef, agricultural chemicals and whiskey, as well as a large number of steel and aluminum products.
The $12.6 billion of tariffs will go into effect on July 1. Items will be subject to taxes of 10% or 25%.
"We will not escalate and we will not back down," Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said, according to the Associated Press. "This is a perfectly reciprocal action. It is a dollar-for-dollar response."
President Donald Trump used national security grounds to justify tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, an issue the Canadians dispute. In a press release, Canada argued that the country is recognized in U.S. law as part of the U.S. National Technology and Industrial Base related to national defense. The U.S. also has a $2 billion annual trade surplus on iron and steel products with Canada, which purchases about 50% of American steel exports.
"Canada has always been a safe, secure and reliable source of steel and aluminum for the U.S. market," Freeland said. "The tariffs introduced by the United States on Canadian steel and aluminum are protectionist and illegal under WTO and NAFTA rules -- the very rules that the United States helped to write. 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. The real solution to this unfortunate and unprecedented dispute is for the United States to rescind its tariffs on our steel and aluminum."
While steel and aluminum products receive a large portion of Canada's retaliatory tariffs, $170 million worth of U.S. beef products will be targeted as well.
"These retaliatory tariffs were and still are clearly avoidable, and the unfortunate casualties will be Canadian consumers and America's cattlemen and cattlewomen," said Kent Bacus, director of international trade and market access for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. "We may not know the extent of the damage these tariffs may have on our producers, but we believe that cooperation is a better path forward than escalation. As Canadians gather to celebrate Canada Day and we prepare to celebrate American independence, we encourage our government and the Canadian government to remember that we are allies and we rely on each other for future economic prosperity."
Other food and agricultural products targeted for retaliation are maple syrup, orange juice, cucumbers, strawberry jam, yogurt and a variety of condiments.
The Canadian tariff announcement comes just a week before another major tariff deadline. The U.S. is set to impose its initial round of 25% tariffs on $34 billion dollars of Chinese goods on July 6, and China pledged to quickly impose retaliatory tariffs on an array of products, including U.S. soybeans, pork and chicken products.
Tariffs on U.S. soybeans could be devastating to American farmers, who have already watched futures markets sink amid escalating rhetoric and cancelled shipments. The DTN National Soybean Index closed at $8.02 on Thursday, the lowest price in more than nine years.
A study by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at Ohio State University found the tariffs could result in a 59% decline in annual net farm income for farmers in the Buckeye state.
Soybean growers will be in Washington next week to explain the detrimental effects the tariffs could have on the industry. The American Soybean Association is also encouraging farmers to explain the importance of trade on social media using the hashtags #RethinkTheTariffs, #TradeNotTariffs and #FacesOfTariffs.
You can find more details on ASA's social media campaign here: https://soygrowers.com/…
Katie Dehlinger can be reached at Katie.firstname.lastname@example.org
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