Retaliation Hits the Beef Industry


Canada announced they will apply higher tariffs on U.S. beef products beginning July 1st. This retaliation is in response to the United States steel and aluminum tariffs. 

The list includes yogurt, jams, orange juice, and cucumbers as the other agriculture related items on the list. Of the $12.6 billion tariffs, Canada plans to tariff $170 million worth of beef products. National Cattlemen's Beef Association Director of International Trade, Kent Bacus, said this in response to the announcement,

“These retaliatory tariffs were and still are clearly avoidable, and the unfortunate casualties will be Canadian consumers and America’s cattlemen and cattlewomen. We may not know the extent of the damage these tariffs may have on our producers, but we believe that cooperation is a better path forward than escalation.”

“We will not escalate and we will not back down,” Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said, according to the Associated Press. “This is a perfectly reciprocal action. It is a dollar-for-dollar response.”

President Donald Trump used national security grounds to justify tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, an issue the Canadians dispute. In a press release, Canada argued that the country is recognized in U.S. law as part of the U.S. National Technology and Industrial Base related to national defense. The U.S. also has a $2 billion annual trade surplus on iron and steel products with Canada, which purchases about 50{665a3d7248b9690333c4195c142b942e2311c5bd36bcf4da0d19dbcb5cbdf347} of American steel exports.

“Canada has always been a safe, secure and reliable source of steel and aluminum for the U.S. market,” Freeland said. “The tariffs introduced by the United States on Canadian steel and aluminum are protectionist and illegal under WTO and NAFTA rules — the very rules that the United States helped to write. 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. The real solution to this unfortunate and unprecedented dispute is for the United States to rescind its tariffs on our steel and aluminum.”

The Canadian tariff announcement comes just a week before another major tariff deadline. The U.S. is set to impose its initial round of 25{665a3d7248b9690333c4195c142b942e2311c5bd36bcf4da0d19dbcb5cbdf347} tariffs on $34 billion dollars of Chinese goods on July 6, and China pledged to quickly impose retaliatory tariffs on an array of products, including U.S. soybeans, pork and chicken products.

Source: NCBA, DTN

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