SUPPORT US

In The Media

Hoping for an exemption from tariffs, Canada is keeping powder dry.. for now

by Peter Zimonjic & Katie Simpson (Feat. Sarah Goldfeder)

CBC News
March 6, 2018

Canada will not follow the European Union and issue specific threats to the U.S. over proposed steel and aluminum tariffs because it's still holding onto the hope that it will get an exemption from any such duties, CBC News has learned.

A federal government source with knowledge of the trade file said, however, that if the U.S. does impose the tariffs, Canada's reaction will be swift, and suggested a list of targeted actions is being considered.

Former prime minister Brian Mulroney — whose government negotiated the original North American Free Trade Agreement​ — said he agrees with the Trudeau government's policy of remaining quiet for the time being.

"I think the way they are handling it now, I think they're doing well," he said. "You don't respond to this with needless bluster. You try to keep the channels of communications open, so you can live to fight again another day."

Mulroney said that Republicans in Congress are putting "enormous pressure" on Trump to abandon the tariffs, and Canada should wait and see what happens over the next week.

Mulroney also said negotiations between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico to modernize NAFTA are tough but improving — and now is not the time to make threats.

"You never discuss publicly anything you're going to do, until you do it, if you are a responsible government," Mulroney said. "I think that I saw [Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland] saying precisely that, and I think she's right."

Last week, the Trump administration announced it would use section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports on the argument that they threaten U.S. national security.

Trump said he would impose the tariffs — 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum — to boost U.S. manufacturers. The president also suggested that Canada might get an exemption if it agrees to a "new and fair" NAFTA deal with the U.S.

It is a position that Trump repeated Tuesday in Washington during a press conference with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven.

"If we're able to make a deal with Canada and Mexico in NAFTA, then there will be no reason to do the tariffs with Canada and Mexico," he said.

When Trump first floated the idea of imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said the EU would not sit back and do nothing.

Speaking to German television, he suggested the EU would retaliate by slapping tariffs on Harley-Davidson motorcycles, bourbon and Levi's jeans.

Targeting agriculture

And while Canada is not joining the EU in making threats, its promise to act swiftly should tariffs be imposed suggests a retaliatory strategy is in place already.

"The goal of retaliation in trade wars like this is to leverage particular congressional districts that influence the president, that influence the administration in how they're carrying out these things," said Sarah Goldfeder, a principal at Earnscliffe Strategy Group and a fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.

Goldfeder — also a former U.S. diplomat who served as special assistant to two U.S. ambassadors to Canada — suggested that the U.S. agriculture industry is likely to be targeted in any tit-for-tat trade action.

"They're going to look at agriculture districts, they're going to look at things like high fructose corn syrup, they're going to look at grain, they're going to look at dairy products," she said.


Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTERS
 
UPCOMING EVENTS


No events are scheduled at this time.


SEARCH
EXPERTS IN THE MEDIA

Global Times: BRICS summit displays the potential of a new future

by Editorial Staff (feat. Swaran Singh), WSFA 12, June 24, 2022

Oil's Dive Won't Bring Any Immediate Relief on Inflation

by Alex Longley, Elizabeth low, and Barbara Powell (feat. Amrita Sen), BNNBloomberg, June 24, 2022

China To Tout Its Governance Model At BRICS Summit

by Liam Gibson (feat. Stephen Nagy), The Asean Post, June 23, 2022

Soutien aux victimes d’inconduites sexuelles dans l’armée

by Rude Dejardins (feat. Charlotte Duval-Lantoine), ICI Radio Canada, June 23, 2022

Defence: $4.9 billion for radars against Russian bombs

by Editorial Staff (feat. Rob Huebert), Archynews, June 23, 2022

The Hans Island “Peace” Agreement between Canada, Denmark, and Greenland

by Elin Hofverberg (feat. Natalie Loukavecha), Library of Congress, June 22, 2022

What the future holds for western Canadian oil producers

by Gabriel Friedman (feat. Kevin Birn), Beaumont News, June 22, 2022

At BRICS summit, China sets stage to tout its governance model

by Liam Gibson (feat. Stephen Nagy), Aljazeera, June 22, 2022

Crude oil price: there are no changes to the fundamentals

by Faith Maina (feat. Amrita Sen), Invezz, June 22, 2022

Few details as Liberals promise billions to upgrade North American defences

by Lee Berthiaume (feat. Andrea Charron), National Newswatch, June 20, 2022

Defence Minister Anita Anand to make announcement on continental defence

by Steven Chase (feat. Rob Huebert), The Globe and Mail, June 19, 2022

Table pancanadienne des politiques

by Alain Gravel (feat. Jean-Christophe Boucher), ICI Radio Canada, June 18, 2022

Russia Ukraine conflict

by Gloria Macarenko (feat. Colin Robertson), CBC Radio One, June 17, 2022

New privacy Bill to introduce rules for personal data, AI use

by Shaye Ganam (feat. Tom Keenan), 680 CHED, June 17, 2022


LATEST TWEETS

HEAD OFFICE
Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Suite 1800, 150–9th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2P 3H9

 

OTTAWA OFFICE
Canadian Global Affairs Institute
8 York Street, 2nd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 5S6

 

Phone: (613) 288-2529
Email: [email protected]
Web: cgai.ca

 

Making sense of our complex world.
Déchiffrer la complexité de notre monde.

 

© 2002-2022 Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Charitable Registration No. 87982 7913 RR0001

 


Sign in with Facebook | Sign in with Twitter | Sign in with Email