Much of the recent media attention has been on Canada’s Prime Minister and former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould, SNC Lavalin, and China blocking Canadian canola. However, NAFTA 2.0 — or USMCA — that dominated the news loop for weeks on end might make headlines once again.
On Monday, Canada’s ambassador to the United States, David MacNaughton, spoke at the North American Agricultural Journalists luncheon. MacNaughton told the room filled with reporters more tariffs could be added on U.S. goods to maintain dollar-for-dollar retaliation.
“It won’t be any surprise to you (reporters) that I suspect that on our consultation list there will be a significant number of agricultural products,” he says. “I would say simply that … we do this more out of sorrow than out of anger.”
The ambassador went on to say he would think it would be a “fairly long” list and it could roll out as soon as next week. Agricultural products that will likely be on the list, include pork and ethanol.
“Our agricultural sector works extremely well for the most part with your’s (Americans). We are inter-dependant in many areas and we do not want to have to go down that path but it is frankly totally intolerable for Canada to move ahead with what is allegedly a free trade agreement when under the guise of, that Canada is a national security threat, that the U.S. administration has imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum.”
The news comes as Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland continues to press the U.S. on removing section 232 — steel and aluminum tariffs — in order to move along with the United States–Mexico–Canada agreement. MacNaughton says he’s hopeful the tariff issue can be resolved sooner rather than later as the clock is ticking for when parliament rises come middle of June and then not sit again until after the federal election.