Border tax might damage US more than Canada: Morneau

Finance minister says such a tax would disrupt a mutually beneficial trade relationship and impose extra costs on US firms.

April 3, 2017   by CP Staff

OTTAWA — Canada’s finance minister is warning business leaders in New York that a proposed US border tax threatens to make both countries poorer – and might even hurt Americans more.

In an appearance at a World Economic Forum event, Bill Morneau cautioned that a tariff-like tax would hurt families on both sides of the frontier by disrupting a mutually beneficial trading relationship and imposing extra costs on US firms.

Morneau’s stronger public stance against the border tax comes after Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr noted last week that the policy faces huge opposition in Washington.

Carr made the comments after he held a series of meetings in Washington with lawmakers, administration officials, and business people whom he said cast doubts on whether the import tax had any chance of passing in an upcoming omnibus tax bill.

Morneau also says the Canadian government has conducted preliminary assessments on the potential economic impacts of a tax on US imports – but adds there are still too many hypotheticals to come to a clear answer.

The uncertainty surrounding a border tax has created significant concerns among Canadian companies, many of which rely heavily on exports to the US.

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