Canada is to impose tariffs on American imports in retaliation for the recent decision by the US to levy a 10 percent tax on Canadian aluminum imports.
Canada’s deputy prime minister Chrystia Freeland says that the tariffs would match the US taxes “dollar for dollar”, according to a story on Manufacturing.net.
President Donald Trump (main picture) has been expressing his dissatisfaction with the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement since coming to office and at one point wanted to take America out of it.
While he did not eventually leave Nafta, he did take the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trading partnership with many countries with coastlines on the Pacific Ocean, which includes China.
But even without leaving Nafta, Trump has imposed taxes which would appear to be in contravention of the trading arrangement.
Canada does not import much aluminum from the US, so it is likely to impose tariffs on household appliances and various sporting equipment and goods.
The total value of the tariffs on the selected categories would amount to about $2.7 billion, according to Manufacturing.net.
Canada is America’s second-largest trading partner after China. Canada and the US exchange approximately $600 billion worth of goods and services – divided fairly equally between exports and imports, with a relatively small deficit of under $18 billion.
Meanwhile, the US has apparently waived a number of tariffs on imports of steel from Japan. Trump had imposed tariffs of 25 percent tax on Japanese steel and 10 percent on aluminum.
But, according to a report on the Nikkei Asian Review website, “the duties were waived for the majority of these materials”.
While it may seem like an ad-hoc or random criteria for reaching trading agreements, it appears that the Trump administration is looking for partners in its trade war with China.
The US has in the past couple of years virtually banned or shunned telecommunications companies such as Huawei and China Telecom and a few others.
In recent weeks, Trump has made it clear that he is looking to ban popular Chinese apps such as TikTok and possibly WeChat.
A ban on WeChat will be particularly painful as it is widely used in China for business, much of the conversation being with buyers abroad.
China is yet to retaliate economically in any significant way.
Instead, Chinese companies are rushing to register as US businesses ahead of the administrations move to ban almost all Chinese companies from operating in the US.
Among them are electric car makers Li Auto and Xpeng, as well as data center operator ChinData and internet company Meituan.