Trade tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump against Canada have prompted a number of Canadians to boycott U.S. goods, businesses, and travel. The #buycanadian, #boycottusa, and #boycottusaproducts hashtags have gained considerable momentum on social media as Canadians have been sharing everything from dinner recipes that can be made without products that have ties to the U.S. to vacation spots in the Great White North. Unsurprisingly, people from the U.S. have also been supportive of the movement on Twitter, letting their neighbors to the north know that they have allies in this movement.
While there is controversy surrounding Trump’s trade tariffs against Canada, it was Trump describing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as “dishonest and weak” at last month’s G7 summit that set off many Canadians. Sentiments toward the U.S. have been further hampered as Canada has felt the sting of the Trump imposed tariffs already. CBC reported that the Quebec-based group ADF, who helped supply steel for the new World Trade Center, has had to lay off 50 employees due to the trade dispute.
Trudeau has remained very diplomatic about the situation. However, many Canadians are fighting back with cupboard economics to make their displeasure known in a tangible way. Canadians are known for rallying around each other and supporting sectors in trouble, as the Manitoba Co-Operator pointed out regarding the 2003 mad cow outbreak in Canada in which the demand for domestic beef actually went up after the scare.
While the Trump administration has been dismissive of any tariffs Canada has imposed in retaliation, they may not be able to remain silent when consumers start ignoring U.S. products on store shelves. United States Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross spoke in an interview posted by Global News.
“These are blips on the radar screen. I don’t think they change the fundamentals of the relationship. Everybody has spats every now and again, every family does, every country does with others, there’s nothing weird about that. I think everybody will get over this in due course.”
Fortune reported that in the first four months of 2018, Americans exported $98.9 billion worth of goods to Canada, which was slightly trending up from the $282 billion exported in 2017. The only trade relationship larger than that of the U.S. and Canada is that of the U.S. and China.
According to a survey released by CTV News on July 4, nearly 70 percent of Canadians surveyed said that if a trade war begins, they are likely or somewhat likely to stop shopping at U.S. retailers. Regarding travel, 57 percent stated they would be less likely to take trips to the U.S. Economists cannot predict what the outcome of the #buycanadian campaign may be, but what everyone seems to agree on is that it is the average person, on both sides of the border, that is most likely to suffer due to Trump’s trade war.