What the escalating U.S.-China trade battle means for Canada – by David Parkinson and Barrie McKenna (Globe and Mail – April 4, 2018)


China’s latest escalation in its trade skirmish with the United States may present more a murky complication than a clear opportunity for Canadian pork and scrap aluminum exporters who look to be in the crossfire, industry watchers and trade experts said.

China announced this week that it would impose tariffs of up to 25 per cent on a list of 128 U.S. export goods, valued at US$3-billion, in retaliation for the tariffs announced by the United States last month on steel and aluminum from China and other countries.

Among the key products named in China’s action are pork and scrap aluminum – two areas where Canada is a significant competitor to the United States in the Chinese market. China will apply a 25-per-cent tariff on both U.S. pork and scrap aluminum.

But while the higher tariffs on the U.S. goods would in theory give Canadian pork and scrap aluminum exporters a competitive leg up over their U.S. counterparts, experts said the integration of the North American market, global supply chains and commodity prices could make the impact much more complicated.

“It’s a bit like squeezing a balloon,” said Queen’s University professor Robert Wolfe, an expert on global trade policy. “If you squeeze trade in one place, it pops up in another.”

For the rest of this article: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-what-the-escalating-us-china-trade-battle-means-for-canada/