Findlay said a bigger concern than the tit-for-tat moves between the US and Canada is the repercussions of Trump's broader movement on trade, which has included tariffs aimed at China and countermeasures by the Chinese government. Here is just one line item from the federal government's official list: "Nails, tacks, staples, screws, bolts, nuts, screw hooks, rivets, cotters, cotter-pins, washers and similar articles".
The U.S. embassy in Ottawa said it had no immediate comment. Canada buys more American steel than any other country in the world, accounting for 50 per cent of US exports. "Their analysis estimates that if other countries retaliate with tariffs, then American job losses would likely increase to 624,000". "Tariffs will lead to increased producer costs, increased producer costs will lead to increased vehicle costs, increased vehicle costs will lead to fewer sales and fewer tax receipts, fewer sales will lead to fewer jobs, and those fewer jobs will significantly impact many communities and families across the country".
"Working in partnership with industry and business associations, we will provide capacity support to assist Canadian companies [to] tap into the new markets now uniquely open to them in Europe, Asia and around the world", said International Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne.
The remarks were made to the Department of Commerce, which is investigating whether to recommend the tariffs.
"There's too much at stake", she said.
Several countries, including Canada, are challenging that rationale with complaints against the U.S. to the World Trade Organisation (WTO).More news: Japan advances on yellow cards despite losing at World Cup
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Trump has explained the steel and aluminum tariffs by saying imported metals threatened the United States' national security - a justification that countries rarely use because it can be so easily abused.
In Ottawa, Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre blamed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for overspending public dollars and instituting policies that he said help Trump kill jobs in Canada. And at the end of the day, Ujczo added the Trump administration's overarching objective of the talks has been to stop Canada and Mexico from being the back door to North America for Chinese goods, like steel.
The White House last month asked the Commerce Department to investigate whether tariffs of up to 25% on imported vehicles could be used on national-security grounds, citing a 1962 law that allows for emergency trade sanctions in the event of a threat.
Canadians are particularly anxious about auto tariffs because the industry is critical to Canada's economy.
Freeland said an "intensive phase" of NAFTA renegotiations will resume quickly after Sunday's elections in Mexico.
"Canadians are in a position of vulnerability when we could have been in a position of strength" during the trade dispute, Poilievre said. "I think all of us, at this point, fully anticipate there will be some moments of drama in the future".
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.
Freeland said they are also prepared if Trump escalates the trade war.