Mazda joins Toyota in condemning Trump's car-tariff plans

Chrystia Freeland

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland delivers a luncheon speech in Montreal on Wednesday

"The threat of steep tariffs on vehicle and auto component imports risks undermining GM's competitiveness against foreign auto producers by erecting broad brush trade barriers that increase our global costs, remove a key means of competing with manufacturers in lower-wage countries, and promote a trade environment in which we could be retaliated against in other markets", the company said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government released the final list of items that will be targeted from July 1.

The Canadian tariffs are created to hit products like steel and bourbon from states like OH and Kentucky that heavily favored Trump in the presidential election.

"The United States is acting as a bully to a smaller country, and I think it would be hypocritical of me to sort of show up and accept their hospitality and free food and so on, when we are in the midst of this trade dispute that is going to have serious ramifications for the entire country and employment in this city", Mr. Watson told CTV earlier in the week, HuffPost reported.

Canada hit back on Friday with retaliatory tariffs on American summertime essentials such as Florida orange juice, OH ketchup and Kentucky bourbon in its opening salvo in a trade war with president Donald Trump.

The final retaliatory tariff list spells out more than 100 steel products that are being hit with a 25 per cent surtax including bars, rods, and flat-rolled products; 19 aluminum products including doors, nuts and bolts, and scouring pads; and over 70 other USA goods that will have a 10 per cent surtax placed on them.

Freeland also said they are prepared if Trump escalates the trade war. If the US Commerce Department determines they are a security threat, Trump announced he will impose a 25 percent tariff on the imports.

At the end of May, the Trump administration imposed a 25 percent tariff on European Union steel and 10 percent tariff on aluminum.

Business groups sent in comments this week to the Commerce Department, which is investigating whether Section 232 tariffs should apply to imports of automobiles and auto parts in the interest of national security.

"A tariff is a tax and it will be paid by American consumers", Mazda said. A third of Honda Motor Co.'s cars sold in the US a year ago were imported, mostly from Canada and Mexico, and 48 percent of Nissan Motor Co. cars sold in the country were brought from countries including Mexico, Japan and South Korea.

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"As the top USA exporter of vehicles, we believe lower tariffs in every market will support growth and jobs", Ford said in a statement to The Hill.

The Americans have applied tariffs to Canadian softwood lumber, and are threatening to do so on autos.

Foreign affairs Chrystia Freeland is expected at Stelco's Depew gates at 11 am Friday morning, along with the innovation minister and the labour minister. The company did not comment on how many jobs would be shifted away from the USA, but said that it would take between nine and 18 months to move production away from Wisconsin.

Bilous acknowledged that both sides get hurt by tariffs but said countermeasures are a necessary step.

"I don't think we'll see any reaction from the Trump administration".

The largest US carmaker said in comments filed with the US Commerce Department that overly broad tariffs could "lead to a smaller GM, a reduced presence at home and overseas for this iconic American company, and risk less - not more - US jobs".

Canadian politicians are hoping the tit-for-tat strategy will convince Trump to back down and we'll go back to being the best of trading buddies.

At the end of May, Freeland and Trudeau announced their intentions to impose dollar-for-dollar tariffs on some US products and sought feedback.

The proposed tariff has already prompted widespread criticism from various organizations and manufacturers of the North American auto industry.

Justin Trudeau's government finalized tariffs on C$16.6 billion ($12.6 billion) of American goods and pledged money to support companies and workers hurt by US levies on Canadian steel and aluminum exports.

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