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Everyday items could see price hike when retaliatory tariffs take effect on Canada Day

Last Updated Jun 29, 2018 at 12:04 am EDT


If you’re looking for a new ballpoint pen – you should buy now. In just three days, the price could go up. Yes, ballpoint pens are just one of 84 products facing retaliatory tariffs that will take effect on Canada Day, in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, announced in May.

Canada’s countermeasures will total 16.6 billion dollars in U.S. imports. The government plans on imposing a 25 per cent surtax on 44 steel products, and a 10 per cent surtax on 84 other products.

The products vary drastically – and include yogurt, coffee, maple syrup, licorice, pizza, quiche, strawberry jam, mustard, soy sauce, manicure and pedicure products and, of course, ballpoint pens.

The government says the solution is to avoid U.S.-made products, and buy Canadian while the tariffs are in place, but experts say, it’s not possible with everything on the list.

“Appliances are a particular problem,” said Karl Littler, Vice-President of Public Affairs for the Retail Council of Canada.

The Retail Council of Canada points out there are no Canadian manufacturers of appliances like fridges, dishwashers, washing machines and stoves.

Appliance Love, a local business in Toronto, is sounding the alarm.

“The uncertainty is where the stress lies – you sit up at night thinking what’s gonna happen after July first,” said the owner of Appliance Love, Marco Tallarico.

Tallarico isn’t sure he should still be in business with American companies.

“If their costs and their price of business is so high then I’ll be suffering and I don’t want to suffer because of this trade war.” 

The Retail Council of Canada says appliances and other products rarely made in Canada should be removed from the final list. That list will be released in Hamilton on Friday.