(Recasts with threat of retaliation)
OTTAWA, March 1 (Reuters) - Canada will retaliate if the United States imposes tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum products, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Thursday after U.S. President Trump announced tariffs in a move he said would protect U.S. 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 percent of U.S. 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 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum, in a move critics said would fail to boost jobs and risked stoking a trade war with China. Trump, speaking after a meeting with U.S. steel and aluminum makers, said the duties would be formally announced next week. (Reporting by David Ljunggren, Andrea Hopkins and Leah Schnurr in Ottawa Editing by Grant McCool and James Dalgleish)