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Canada announces retaliatory tariffs on steel and aluminum

  • Canada will retaliate against new U.S. tariffs by imposing its own trade barriers on U.S. steel, aluminum and other products.
  • Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada plans to slap dollar-for-dollar tariffs on the U.S.

Canada will retaliate against new U.S. tariffs by imposing its own trade barriers on U.S. steel, aluminum and other products, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said Thursday.

Freeland said Canada plans to slap dollar-for-dollar tariffs on the U.S. The Nafta partner's proposed import taxes would also cover whiskey, orange juice and other food products alongside the steel and aluminum tariffs.

The retaliatory measures will cover CA$16.6 billion in imports, Freeland said. The products being targeted will be subject to tariffs between 10 percent and 25 percent.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the tariffs, announced Thursday by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, are an affront to the security partnership between the U.S. and Canada.

Ross said the tariffs will take effect at midnight Thursday, when previously set exemptions for Canada, Mexico and the European Union are set to expire.

The tariffs are "totally unacceptable," Trudeau said, though he noted that Canada will continue to negotiate with the U.S.

Trudeau warned that the Trump administration's soon-to-be-applied tariffs — of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports — will harm both countries' economies.

Canada took umbrage with the U.S.' finding, outlined in a proclamation from President Donald Trump, that "steel mill articles are being imported into the United States in such quantities and under such circumstances as to threaten to impair the national security of the United States."

Freeland said Thursday: "It is entirely inappropriate to view any trade with Canada as a threat to the United States' national security."

The European Union (EU) condemned the U.S.' trade maneuver in similar tones on Thursday. Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, said the EU had no choice but to introduce countermeasures.

Mexico, too, said it would impose tariffs in response to the U.S. actions.

--Reuters contributed to this report.

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