Even during an ongoing pandemic, governments still have to deal with other issues. Recently, the Canadian government had to respond to new aluminum tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump. He said that the country was being "unfair" to the United States.

During an August 6 speech at a Whirlpool manufacturing plant in Ohio, Trump announced that he had just signed an order reimposing tariffs on aluminum imported from Canada.

"Canada was taking advantage of us, as usual," the president said, "and I signed it and it imposes, because the aluminum business was being decimated by Canada, very unfair to our jobs and our great aluminum workers."

Trump mentioned how he previously lifted the tariffs, which he then suggested allowed the Canadian government to "flood our country with exports and kill all our aluminum jobs."

"To be a strong nation, America must be a manufacturing nation, and not be led by a bunch of fools," he said.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland fired back at the comments and the reimposed tariffs in a statement issued later the same day, where she called the decision "unwarranted and unacceptable."

"Canadian aluminum does not undermine US national security," she said, "Canadian aluminum strengthens US national security and has done so for decades through unparalleled cooperation between our two countries." 

She added that new tariffs are the "last thing" Canadian and American workers need during a pandemic and an economic crisis and that they will "raise costs for manufacturers and consumers, impede the free flow of trade, and hurt provincial and state economies."

Freeland concluded her statement by saying that Canada would be imposing "dollar-for-dollar countermeasures" in response to any added tariffs on aluminum.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau echoed Freeland's statement in an August 6 tweet, reiterating the need for countermeasures and writing, "We will always stand up for our aluminum workers. We did so in 2018 and we will stand up for them again now."

Canada and the United States were previously at odds over aluminum tariffs two years ago, when they were first imposed.

Back then, Trump and Trudeau reportedly had a tense phone call where the president incorrectly referenced Canadians burning down the White House during the War of 1812.

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