Retaliate or not? Canada’s tough decision in the event of U.S. tariffs on autos

OTTAWA — Industry leaders say the federal Liberal government will face a complex decision — with deep economic consequences — if the U.S. makes good on its threat to slap tariffs on Canadian-made cars and trucks.

Ottawa recently retaliated against U.S. President Donald Trump’s levies on Canadian steel and aluminum with reciprocal duties on American imports of the metals, as well as dozens of consumer products.

However, if Canada’s auto sector does indeed become a Trump target, many fear any Canadian countermeasures would have a far greater impact on jobs and the economy in this country than the fallout from the steel and aluminum tariffs.

Canadian Automobile Dealers Association chief economist Michael Hatch is urging the federal government to resist retaliatory tariffs on autos, saying full-scale reprisals would put up to 30,000 jobs at risk in Canada’s retail sector.

Auto Parts Manufacturer’s Association president Flavio Volpe says even though the impact would be devastating to the sector, Ottawa would have no choice but to take precisely the same measures against the U.S.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has said repeatedly that the federal government’s strategy on tariffs is to neither back down nor escalate the dispute.

The U.S. Department of Commerce is investigating the possibility of auto tariffs on national security grounds, and many observers believe Trump could be in a position to make a decision as early as next month.

Just Posted

Council votes to invest $750,000 in Lacombe Market Square

‘Big Canadian retail store’ coming to Lacombe within four years

Elegant and powerful music marks the RDSO’s 32nd season

Beethoeven, Rossini and Prokofiev works kick off the season on Oct. 13

Crown may seek dangerous offender status for 2015 Christmas Day stabber

Psychiatric assessment being done of man sentenced In November 2017 to seven years for manslaughter

128 Flags of Remembrance now flying in Sylvan Lake until Nov. 12

Centennial Park boasts 128 Canadian flags to honour 128,000 Canadians killed and missing in action.

Fall Food Drive set for Saturday in Red Deer

Organized by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Live bear cam: Let the fishing begin

Watch bears in Alaska’s Katmai National Park catch their dinner live.

Woman says boyfriend pressed her to ‘produce a baby’

FARGO, N.D. — A North Dakota woman convicted of killing her pregnant… Continue reading

Defence focuses on behaviour of teen killed by Chicago cop

CHICAGO — Lawyers for a white Chicago police officer on trial for… Continue reading

Washington wants Canada to improve spill plan for U.S. spur of Trans Mountain

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington’s Department of Ecology wants the Canadian government to… Continue reading

National Transportation Safety Board to determine cause of Air Canada close call

Video captured the moment that an Air Canada jet flew off course… Continue reading

Edmonton public schools to review its ‘books to weed out’ list due to concerns

Edmonton Public Schools says it’s taking down its book review site after… Continue reading

Former U.S. ambassador steps up calls to get Americans to vote ahead of midterms

OTTAWA — A former U.S. ambassador to Canada is taking the battle… Continue reading

Canada aiming for the moon, and beyond, with new space technology efforts

OTTAWA — With an eye on future lunar exploration, Canada’s space agency… Continue reading

Most Read