Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne speaks with reporters before the first day of a Liberal cabinet retreat in Ottawa, Monday September 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Canada hopes to avert new U.S. tariff war, but stands ready to fire: Champagne

The Trump administration imposed the new national-security tariffs last month

Canada’s foreign affairs minister says the federal government is still trying to cool its dispute with the United States over aluminum exports, but remains poised to retaliate if necessary.

Francois-Philippe Champagne says he believes the standoff is an opportunity to figure out new ways to bring manufacturing back to life across North America.

But in the short term, Champagne says, Canada is fully prepared to impose dollar-for-dollar countermeasures against U.S.-made aluminum and products that contain it, beginning Wednesday.

The list of potential targets includes goods such as appliances, drink cans, office furniture, bicycles and golf clubs.

The Trump administration imposed the new national-security tariffs last month after complaints from two U.S. smelting operations that Canada was violating the terms of a 2019 agreement between the two countries.

The tariffs were imposed less than two months after the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement went into effect, putting a chill on a new era of managed North American trade.

“Everyone in Canada understands that aluminum from Canada is no threat to national security in the United States,” Champagne said Monday as he prepared for a two-day cabinet retreat with Liberal colleagues at a Global Affairs office building in Ottawa.

“The real opportunity here is to think, ‘How can we build more in North America? How can we make … more in North America and how can we sell to the world?”

Canadian officials are still working to avoid having to impose retaliatory tariffs, he suggested, even as Canada’s original Wednesday deadline looms large.

“Obviously, we’re going to continue to negotiate. But we’re going to be prepared to react as we did last time.”

The Canadian Press

Tariffs

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New crop of hand-crafted heats popping up across Saanich

Community arts program promotes wellness, sends message of caring from people of all ages

Oak Bay couple honoured for 35 years volunteering

Mayor awards distinguished Oak Leaf to Bert and Doris Dinsmore

Hospital foundation president praises generosity of Peninsula residents

Karen Morgan said support during COVID-19, financial and otherwise, has been touching

Meet the Liberal candidate for Oak Bay-Gordon Head

Roxanne Helme about ‘governance, not politics’

New Democrats on Saanich Peninsula still looking to announce candidate

While BC Liberals have nominated Stephen Roberts, New Democrats have not yet announced candidate

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

Most Read