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Minister of Foreign Affairs calls U.S. tariffs as protectionist and illegal - says U.S. 'leaves Canada no choice but to defend our industries' Canada’s steel and aluminum industries have made North American steel and aluminum more competitive around the world. It is inconceivable and completely unacceptable to view any trade with Canada as a national security threat to the United States. The U.S. has a US $2 billion annual trade surplus on iron and steel products with Canada. Canada buys more American steel than any other country in the world, accounting for 50 per cent of U.S. exports. Canadian steel is used in American tanks, and Canadian aluminum in American planes. Indeed, Canada is recognized in U.S. law as part of the U.S. National Technology and Industrial Base related to National Defence. Today the Government of Canada announced that in direct, measured and proportional response to U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, reciprocal surtaxes on $16.6 billion of imports of steel, aluminum and other products from the United States will come into effect July 1, 2018. Canada continues to work towards full and permanent removal of these unjustified and illegal U.S. tariffs. In addition, the Government of Canada will make available up to $2 billion to defend and protect the interests of Canadian workers and businesses in the steel, aluminum and manufacturing industries. This includes a comprehensive set of measures: Extending the duration of work-sharing agreements by 38 additional weeks under the Employment Insurance program to help employers retain their skilled workforce and avoid layoffs during challenging times. Increasing funding to the provinces and territories to increase the capacity of the job and training programs available to workers affected by the U.S. measures. Providing liquidity support to affected businesses. Offering up to $250 million in new support through the Strategic Innovation Fund to help bolster the competitiveness of Canadian manufacturers and better integrate the Canadian supply chain of steel and aluminum. The Government of Canada will invest $50 million over five years to help Canadian companies diversify their exports to take advantage of new trade agreements, such as CETA and CPTPP. Working in partnership with business associations, this will include new "export readiness" grants. We continue to monitor the trade situation closely. Canada has already taken steps to address diversion and dumping into the Canadian market and will work with all affected stakeholders on next steps to protect our workers and companies. We know there is a risk that imports will continue to increase, harming Canadian steel producers. This is unacceptable. In particular, in the case of energy tubular, steel plates and rebar products, we will work with stakeholders in the coming weeks on an appropriate response, including safeguards. Source-www.sootoday.com
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