Saskatoon

Canada-U.S. trade war will drive up price of Canadian goods, warns Sask. prof

You'd best stock up on toiler paper before Sunday.

Fridges, detergent, toilet paper: 'There's a ton of consumer goods on that list'

The price of consumer goods like toilet paper will increase because of the escalating Canada-U.S. trade war, warns a University of Regina professor. (Rose Cottage Paper Products)

You'd best stock up on toiler paper before Sunday.

Shoppers should brace for price hikes at the checkout counter because of the escalating trade war between Canada and United States, according to a Saskatchewan economics expert.

Steel companies like Regina's Evraz also stand to take a hit during the tit-for-tat trade tiff, added Jason Childs, an associate professor in economics at the University of Regina.

10- and 25-per-cent tariffs

The Canadian government announced a revised list of American imports into Canada that will be slapped with 10- or 25-per-cent tariffs starting on Sunday.

It's a direct response to tariffs imposed by the United States on similar Canadian products one month ago.

"There's a ton of consumer goods on that list and that's going to be where we feel the impacts right away," said Childs.

He rattled off some items on Canada's list that he said will get pricier.

"Appliances right off the hop. Househould appliances. Dishwashers, fridges, that kind of stuff, are going to go up. Dishwasher detergent is on the list. Ferrols for pencil erasers are on the list."

Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland announced on Friday the final list of tariffs on Canadian products in response to U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminium products. (CBC)

Lower-income people will be hardest hit, Childs said.

"Looking at a lot of these products, these are items that are up and down the income spectrum. But trade wars have disproportionate effects on those lower on the income spectrum."

Childs says the latest major trade war between Canada and the United States was in the 1930s.

Evraz to take double hit

Steel and aluminum products constitute about a third of the items covered by Canada's retaliatory taxes on U.S. imports.

Childs says steel manufacturers like Evraz will take a double hit.

The Trudeau government announced financial supports to producers, but that support is mostly meant to cushion the effect of Canada's tariffs, not the American tariffs announced a month ago, said Childs.

"Evraz take used cars, dead cars, recycled steel, they're gonna refine that into ingots, that's going to get sent down to the U.S., get converted into rolled steel, get sent back to Evraz and get converted into pipe," he said.

"So Evraz gets hit twice. They get hit on the American tariff on the ingot, and they get hit by the Canadian tariff on the rolled steel."

Evraz, a steel manufacturer in Regina, will be affected by both the American and Canadian tariffs, taking a double hit, according to economics professor Jason Childs. (Olivia Stefanovich/CBC)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is scheduled to meet with steelworkers in Regina on Sunday as part of a trip across the country on Canada Day.

Premier Scott Moe tweeted support for the province's steel industry Friday.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Guy Quenneville

Reporter at CBC Saskatoon

Story tips? guy.quenneville@cbc.ca

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