Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs addresses the media during a news conference in Toronto on Thursday, March 8, 2018. NAFTA negotiating teams will keep bargaining through the weekend in an effort to get a deal by early May. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Ottawa details list of U.S. tariff targets, offers up to $2B in support

Ottawa also released details Friday of a financial aid package for industries and workers caught in the crossfire

The federal Liberal government is taking its cross-border trade dispute with the United States up a notch, unveiling an extensive final list of $16.6-billion worth of American imports that will be hit with retaliatory tariffs this weekend.

Ottawa also released details Friday of a financial aid package for industries and workers caught in the crossfire — and it includes up to $2 billion in fresh funding and loans for Canada’s steel, aluminum and manufacturing sectors.

“It is with regret that we take these countermeasures, but the U.S. tariffs leave Canada no choice but to defend our industries, our workers and our communities, and we will remain firm in doing so,” Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement.

She unveiled the details — including a finished list of U.S. products on Canada’s hit list, which takes effect Sunday — during a news conference at a steel factory in Hamilton.

“The real solution to this unfortunate and unprecedented dispute,” she said, ”is for the United States to rescind its tariffs on our steel and aluminum.”

Aside from reciprocal tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the U.S., the items to be subject to 10 per cent duties come from a wide range of sectors — from ketchup, to lawn mowers, to playing cards.

Related: A look at the numbers behind Ottawa’s tariff reprisal against Trump

Related:Trump’s calling Trudeau ‘dishonest and weak’ sparks calls for calm

It’s all part of Ottawa’s plan to strike back at the U.S. in response to hefty steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump several weeks ago.

The government’s decision to stand up to Trump by striking back with countermeasures has attracted wide support in Canada — but domestic businesses, particularly those in the steel sector, have expressed deep concerns about any escalation in the trade battle.

More broadly, the effects of the trade fight are expected to hurt both economies, which includes putting jobs at risk and potentially raising consumer prices on both sides of the border.

The federal support package is similar to the one offered by Ottawa last year in response U.S. duties on softwood lumber products from Canada.

For the latest dispute, the government intends to help affected workers by extending the duration of work-sharing agreements under the employment insurance program by an additional 38 weeks. The aim is to help businesses retain skilled workers and avoid layoffs during any rough patches ahead.

Ottawa is also promising to boost funding for the provinces and territories to increase job and training programs, and to provide liquidity support for impacted businesses.

Through its strategic innovation fund, Ottawa is also offering up to $250 million in support in an effort to reinforce the competitiveness of Canadian manufacturers and strengthen the integration of Canada’s steel and aluminum supply chain.

The government also plans to invest $50 million over five years to help firms take full advantage of recent trade agreements, including Canada’s deal with the European Union and its membership in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The funding will feature new grants.

The federal government also reiterated Friday that it has taken steps and introduced safeguards to address concerns about diversion and dumping of products into the Canadian market.

Last week, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross expressed concerns about the world’s overproduction and overcapacity of steel, saying the U.S. tariffs against Canada and other allies are designed to force them into action.

Freeland has long insisted that Canada introduced stronger safeguards on steel well before the U.S. imposed the tariffs.

She said the measures were put in place not only to ensure Canada is a good trading partner, but primarily to protect Canada’s own national interest by keeping Chinese steel and aluminum from being dumped into the market.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Man, 32, found dead in Abbotsford was targeted, police say

IHIT identifies victim as Sukhpreet Grewal, who they say was known to police

Vancouver Giants sign forward Lukas Svejkovsky

The Vancouver Giants’ newest acquisition is being described as “an incredibly skilled… Continue reading

VIDEO: Township fire crews battle blaze in abandoned house

Thursday night fire is latest in a series of empty Willoughby homes to burn

Elvis sighted in Aldergrove

Live concerts set for Langley Cruise-In on Sept. 8

UPDATE: 14-year-old pilot sets Guinness World Record at Langley airport

Mohd Shaikhsorab believes he is now the youngest pilot with the fewest hours logged to fly solo

BC Games: Day 1 comes to an end

Medals have already been handed out following one day of competition in the 2018 BC Summer Games

Open water swimming from B.C. to Washington in 24 hours

The swim will take a full day, meaning Susan Simmons will be swimming in the black of night

ZONE 4: Heart surgery didn’t stop Liam Haysom’s journey to the BC Games

Coquitlam soccer player refused to be sidelined for long after treatment for heart condition

Cigarette packs with graphic images, blunt warnings are effective: focus groups

Warnings considered effective flag ailments smoking can cause, like colorectal and stomach cancers

Canada’s title hopes quashed at Rugby Sevens World Cup in San Francisco

On the men’s side, Canada was eliminated in the round of 16 as they were shut out by Argentina 28-0

‘We are doing the right thing:’ Protesters dig in at anti-pipeline camp

B.C. Supreme Court ruled in March that both the camp and a nearby watch house could remain in place

Astronaut drops in on Kraftwerk gig, plays duet from space

Alexander Gerst becomes an astronaut musician with live performance from International Space Station

BC Wildfire update on Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

RCMP help to save goats from wildfire

The fast-approaching wildfire, sparked Thursday, forced the evacuation of five homes

Most Read