Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has warned the Trump administration that Ottawa is ready to retaliate if the new President imposes tariffs at the border, potentially sparking a trade war between Canada and its largest trading partner.
Ms. Freeland, who met with Donald Trump’s Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, in Washington Wednesday, said she delivered a message that Ottawa has no appetite for tariff walls and is not afraid to fight back.
“I did make clear that we would be strongly opposed to any imposition of new tariffs between Canada and the United States, that we felt tariffs on exports would be mutually harmful to both Canada and the United States and that, if such an idea were ever to come into being, Canada would respond appropriately,” Ms. Freeland told reporters after her sit-down with Mr. Tillerson.
Despite Ms. Freeland’s tough talk, a senior Canadian official said “no one wants to start a trade war.”
A Canadian government source said Ms. Freeland had several other concerns to bring to U.S. officials, including a border adjustment tax proposed by members of Congress, Mr. Trump’s executive order favoring U.S.-made steel and his push for biometric screening at the border.