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Why Canada Just Slapped a Tariff on US Yogurt

It's retaliatory, and it's political
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 30, 2018 5:11 AM CDT
In this June 8, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump talks with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a G-7 Summit welcome ceremony in Charlevoix, Canada.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
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(Newser) – Following in the footsteps of the EU, Canada announced billions of dollars in retaliatory tariffs against the US on Friday in a tit-for-tat response to the Trump administration's duties on Canadian steel and aluminum. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government released the final list of items that will be targeted beginning Sunday. Some items will be subject to tariffs of 10% or 25%. "We will not escalate and we will not back down," Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said. The tariffs on items including ketchup, lawn mowers, and motor boats amount to $12.6 billion. "This is a perfectly reciprocal action," Freeland said. "It is a dollar for dollar response." Freeland said they had no other choice and called the tariffs regrettable, reports the AP.

Many of the US products were chosen for their political rather than economic impact. For example, Canada imports just $3 million worth of yogurt from the US annually and most of it comes from one plant in Wisconsin, the home state of House Speaker Paul Ryan. The product will now be hit with a 10% duty. Another product on the list is whiskey, which comes from Tennessee and Kentucky, the latter of which is the home state of Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell. Trump is also threatening to impose another tariff on imported cars, trucks, and auto parts. Freeland said such tariffs would be "absurd" because the North American auto industry is highly integrated and parts made in Canada often go to cars manufactured in the US and then sold back to Canadians. "Any trade action is disruptive on both sides of the border," Freeland said.

(Read more tariffs stories.)

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