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‘Dollar for dollar, we will not back down’: Retaliation on U.S. tariffs expected this week

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Still, as he and others have pointed out while voicing opposition to the U.S. tariffs on Canadian aluminum, North American consumers ultimately bear the cost of tariffs when affected products’ prices rise.

Geoffrey Gertz, a global economy and development fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based Brookings Institution, wrote last week that U.S. tariffs against not only Canadian but many other countries’ goods have actually cost the “average American household … somewhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars or more per year.” He cited multiple studies including one by the International Monetary Fund.

Gertz also wrote that it is difficult to pinpoint the exact impact on jobs, but said U.S. tariffs may have helped create jobs, in certain industries, such as at steel plants and washing machine factories. But those gains may be offset by the countermeasures other countries have taken against U.S. goods, and by a loss of jobs in downstream industries that face higher costs.

It’s an issue that U.S. trade organizations have been raising with Freeland.

For example, in a Sept. 4 letter to Freeland, Jim McGreevy, president and chief executive officer of the Washington, D.C.-based Beer Institute, wrote that he has always opposed the tariffs for this reason, citing the impact on beer cans.

In both the U.S. and Canada, around 65 per cent of beer is consumed in cans, he wrote in his letter. While the aluminum for the cans is produced in Canada, it is often exported to U.S. where it is finished into cans, and a 10 per cent tariff on aluminum cans would have a $20-million impact on Canadian breweries, according to McGreevy.

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