Canada’s tariffs designed “strategically to exert maximum pain politically for the president”

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Max Mallett / Flickr Cucumber...
Max Mallett / Flickr

As stated in “Canada’s Prime Minister blows away Trump tariffs – condemns the U.S. government, not its people,” the tariffs that Canada is set to impose are not designed to punish all U.S. residents. Although everyone in both countries will necessarily pay something for Trump’s punitive tariffs, Canada’s tariffs are targeted to specific locales for maximum effect:

“This list was clearly drawn strategically to exert maximum pain politically for the president,” said Maryscott Greenwood of the Canadian American Business Council.

“The idea is, you look at a map of the congressional districts of the United States, you look at which members of Congress are in leadership positions and then you look at the big industries in those districts and then you draw up your list accordingly,” she said. “And this list was clearly drawn up with this in mind.”

Take Paul Ryan, the Republican Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. He represents a district in Wisconsin where there is significant cucumber and gherkin industry.

That state also has a large dairy industry, which could help explain why yogurt was added to the list. But Wisconsin is also home to a manufacturing plant and distribution centres belonging to the Toro Company, the owner of several lawn mower manufacturers that sell to Canada. Which probably explains why “mowers for lawns, parks or sports-grounds” were added to the list.

Also on the list: whiskey from Kentucky, orange juice from Florida, and chocolate, toilet paper, and paper towels from Pennsylvania, which is home to Hershey’s chocolate and Scott paper companies.

Gordon Ritchie, a trade expert who negotiated Canada’s first free trade agreement with the U.S., says that Canada’s list of tariffs “is the best executed trade countermeasure I’ve seen in 50 years. But the Trump action is sheer, utter idiocy.”

Canadians have an elegant concept of reciprocity.

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