In response to the new American tariffs, Canada responded by taxing American sweets, meats and whiskies.
There are a lot of Canadians sitting under Cheyenne Mountain where NORAD watches for incoming missiles; they have worked together with Americans on national security since the end of the Second World War. Their Mounties fought off atomic invaders from the Soviet Union. So it was a bit of a shock on June 1 for Canadians to wake up and find that Canada’s exports of aluminum and steel are a threat to American national security and are now subject to significant tariffs. Chrystia Freeland, the minister of Foreign Affairs, calls the whole thing “absurd.”
But she and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau don’t get mad; they get even by imposing duties on American imports -- and not just on steel and aluminum. They have picked a whole range of items to add tariffs to that will lead to healthier Canadians with better teeth.
Right off the bat, prepared meals made of chicken or “reserved meat of bovine, other than in cans or glass jars” are going to cost more. But hey, we are all supposed to eat less meat anyway. And toffee, chocolate, and strawberry jam: “Nut purées and nut pastes, berry purées, other fruit purées other than banana purée, other jams, jellies.” All those sugary things are going to cost more in Canada now thanks to the 10 percent tariff. American maple syrup costs more now, but fortunately Canada has a strategic reserve of the stuff.
American ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise and mixed condiments all cost more now. And cucumbers! Gherkins! Justin is really trying to get us off burgers and on to a vegetarian diet. No more imported pizza and real Canadians no longer eat quiche; maybe he wants us to go vegan. With this kind of diet we might all soon be as fit as Justin.
Along with all those prepared meats, burgers are all going to cost more, and you can’t drown your sorrows; American whiskies all are subject to tariff. Bottled water? Yup, it costs more now, so you'd better use tap water instead.
Dishwashers, refrigerators and freezers from the States all cost more now; sorry, Kitchenaid and Whirlpool, it’s even cheaper to buy Korean than it was yesterday.
Breakfast will be a challenge, now that coffee and orange juice are subject to tariff. Toilet paper and kleenex too, if they come from the States.
Two things often happen when the price of stuff goes up; people use less of it or they look for cheaper local substitutions. So, who knows, we might end up with healthier, thinner Canadians who develop a taste for local apple cider instead of Florida orange juice. Everybody ends up poorer after a trade war and generally consumes less of everything.
But a lot of Canadians are so angry about the economic disruption of what were really well integrated economies and will cost a lot of jobs on both sides of the border that they are boycotting American products anyway. Now that the President is also going after German luxury cars, perhaps they will get dumped north of the border and Canadians may be able to buy them cheap instead of Fords, GM and Chryslers.
And hey, those Canadians are a threat to national security, so something had to be done!