Canada fires back following news of U.S. tariffs on steel

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says Canada plans to levy tariff ``countermeasures'' of its own on up to $16.6 billion worth of imports of steel, aluminum and other products from the U.S.

Freeland says the dollar-for-dollar countermeasures, which apply to a long list of U.S. products from flat-rolled steel to playing cards and felt-tipped pens, will go into effect July 1.

Freeland is making the announcement alongside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau following word from the White House that the U.S. will slap tariffs on Canadian, Mexican and European Union steel and aluminium as of midnight tonight.

She calls the U.S. measures illegal and counterproductive.

Trudeau, meanwhile, calls it ``inconceivable'' that Canada could ever be a national-security threat to an ally as close and important as the United States.

Canada, Mexico and Europe had been exempted from import duties of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum when they were first imposed in March, but those exemptions will expire as scheduled on Friday.