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Canada officially strikes back against US tariffs

Reuters logo Reuters 6/29/2018

Canada struck back at U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs Friday, vowing to impose punitive measures on C$16.6 billion ($12.63 billion) of American goods and unveiling a C$2 billion aid package for affected industries and workers.

Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said the tariffs would take effect as planned on July 1 and stay in place "until the United States eliminates its trade restrictive measures against Canada."

The Liberal government said last month it would retaliate after U.S. President Donald Trump moved against steel and aluminum imports, citing security grounds.

"We will not escalate and we will not back down," Freeland told a televised news conference at a Stelco Holdings Inc plant in the Ontario steel city of Hamilton.

Freeland said Ottawa was acting with a deep sense of regret and stressed the closeness of the overall relationship between Canada and the United States.

The aid package largely consists of up to C$1.7 billion in commercial financing and insurance for companies in the steel and aluminum sectors and related industries.

($1=1.3141 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by David Ljunggren Editing by Chris Reese and Dan Grebler)

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