By Pat Kessler

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — President Donald Trump’s trade tariffs on Canada are sparking retaliation.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is promising comparable tariffs on the U.S.

“We are polite and reasonable,” Trudeau said, “but we also will not be pushed around.”

A furious Trump is calling Trudeau “dishonest and weak.”

U.S. trade officials are going further.

“There’s a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with Donald J. Trump,” said Peter Navarro, a top Trump trade advisor.

The president cites national security for imposing a 25 percent tariff on Canadian steel, and 10 percent on aluminum.

Canada is reciprocating, and Minnesota iron ore is a target.

“There’s great disappointment and regret,” said Paul Connors, Canada’s consul general for the Upper Midwest.

“We hope it doesn’t come to that, but if the U.S. tariffs remain in effect, we will impose our tariffs on July 1,” he said.

The Canadian tariffs target $264 million in Minnesota products headed to Canada, adding $35 million to the cost of exports.

What would be affected?

– Taconite and iron ore
– Minnesota-made lawnmowers,
– ATVs
– Adhesives
– even packaged foods, like yogurt

Minnesota trade experts say the Trump tariffs set a bad precedent.

“We should think very carefully about a situation in which we are retaliating against one of our closest neighbors and our best friends and longtime allies,” said Dr. Robert Kudrle, of the Humphrey School of Public Policy.

Canada’s Consul General said the tariffs are the last thing his country wants to impose on Minnesota businesses.

The U.S. actually has a trade surplus with Canada.

He is urging U.S. officials to focus on unfair trade practices, like steel dumping by China.

Pat Kessler