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Canada struck back at the Trump administration over USA steel and aluminum tariffs on Friday, vowing to impose punitive measures on C$16.6 billion ($12.63 billion) worth of American goods until Washington relents.

Starting July 1, our federal government is imposing tariffs on $16.6 billion worth of American goods imported into Canada.

Trump has explained the steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada by saying imported metals threatened the United States' national security - a justification that countries rarely use because it can be so easily abused.

Canada has chose to impose a tariff of 25% on a host of steel and aluminium products and 10% on goods, including pizza, quiche, whiskies, toilet paper and inflatable boats.

Canada is the largest importer of steel and aluminum into the U.S. In 2017, Canada imported $4.3 billion in steel and $7.2 billion in aluminum to the United States. "We will not escalate and we will not back down", she added while noting that this trade action was the strongest taken by Ottawa since World War II and urging the Trump administration to rescind its own tariffs.

"Canada has no choice but to retaliate in a measured, reciprocal, dollar-for-dollar response", Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Friday at a steel manufacturing facility flanked by workers.

USA officials have linked the tariffs to slow progress in talks to modernise the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Mr Trump says is a disaster and must be changed.

"It is a reciprocal action".

FILE PHOTO: Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland delivers remarks after receiving the Diplomat of the Year award at the Foreign Policy annual Awards Dinner in Washington, U.S., June 13, 2018. "We are perfectly within our rights to respond".

The US and Canada are also in talks to update the North American Free Trade Agreement, which includes Mexico. At the time, she said she told Canadians the federal government expected "moments of drama in this process".

According to the Canadian Press, Trudeau will be skipping the Parliament Hill Canada Day festivities and will instead be hitting the road, making stops in two cities where the tariffs are set to impact major industries: a steel refinery in Regina, and a food processing plant in Leamington, Ont. once used by Heniz.

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The retaliation came as General Motors Co warned that any tariffs Washington might impose on imported vehicles could cost USA jobs, and as Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin denied a report that President Donald Trump wanted to withdraw from the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The federal support package includes similar measures to those offered by Ottawa previous year in response USA duties on softwood lumber products from Canada.

"Faced with these unjustified tariffs, the United States will take all necessary actions under both USA law and global rules to protect its interests", he said in the statement. "We just can't accept that that behavior, the bullying, from somebody that is going to affect our country, our jobs, our families' livelihoods on a whim", he says.

- Spending up to $250 million to "better integrate the Canadian supply chain of steel and aluminum".

Overall, Ujczo said Canada's retaliatory tariffs have been baked into the White House's calculus for months.

The support measures are meant to help Canadian firms manage the tariffs as well as innovate for the future, he said.

It's not known how much of that money will come to Alberta (our steel exports to the United States are worth about $500 million compared to about $7 billion for all of Canada).

"I don't think we'll see any reaction from the Trump administration".

NAFTA negotiations are expected to move into an "intensive phase" following national elections in Mexico on Sunday.

Bains, the economic development minister, said the support is aimed at helping firms adjust to the hard circumstances while enabling them to continue to innovate along the way.