The U.S. Administration’s decision today to impose Section 232 tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from Canada, Mexico and the European Union is unacceptable, irrational and clearly contrary to the United States’ international trade obligations. The tariffs will do significant damage to the world’s closest trading relationship, hurting U.S. and Canadian workers, raising prices for consumers and damaging North American competitiveness.

Protectionism in all its forms is counterproductive, but under the circumstances the Government of Canada has no choice but to stand up for Canadian workers and industry. The measures outlined by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland are strong, reciprocal and proportionate.

Canada is one of the United States’ closest allies and partners. Attempting to justify tariffs on the grounds of U.S. national security is ludicrous and deeply insulting. Moreover, the actions of the U.S. Administration have dealt a serious blow to the transatlantic alliance that has underpinned global peace and prosperity since the Second World War. We stand fully in support of our government’s response to this reckless provocation.