Trade War? Angry About Trump Tariffs, Canadians #BoycottUSA, #BuyCanadian, and Skip Ambassador's Fourth of July Party

Kelly Knight Craft’s first Fourth of July party as the new U.S. ambassador to Canada will be a decidedly lower-key event Wednesday night than recent Independence Day parties at the American Embassy in Ottawa.

The guest list has reportedly shrunk to about 1,000 invitees, or about one-quarter of the attendees who flocked to the marquee summertime event of Ottawa’s diplomatic community under former ambassador Bruce Heyman.

Even some invited VIPs won’t be there this year, including Ottawa’s usually sociable mayor, Jim Watson, who said he was skipping this year’s soiree because he is “tired, like a lot of other Canadians, of the constant chirping and attacks of the president, whether it’s against the prime minister, against our steel workers, aluminum, cars, dairy products.” 

“I think it sends a symbolic signal that I’m not interested in supporting an administration that is constantly attacking our economy.”

The mayor is not the only one expressing his displeasure with President Donald Trump, who set off a chain-reaction of anger in Canada after he imposed steep tariffs against Canadian steel and aluminum; threatened to slap further import levies on Canadian vehicles and milk; and called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “dishonest and weak” following the recent G-7 summit  after the prime minister promised to impose Canadian retaliatory tariffs against the U.S., which took effect on July 1.

In Canada, on this Fourth of July, there is more fury than fireworks.

Last month, the town council of Halton Hills, a community northwest of Toronto, passed a unanimous motion encouraging its 61,000 residents and businesses to avoid buying U.S. goods “where Canadian substitutes are reasonably available, and communicating with U.S. businesses and individuals," because of "Canadian concerns about the decisions of the U.S. government.”

Twitter has been aflutter with patriotic Canadian tweets under the hashtags #BoycottUSA, #TrumpFree and #BuyCanadian. “America has awakened a sleeping giant,” said one tweet. “Please RT if you are one ofthe Canadians who promises not set foot in America until @POTUS is gone. #BoycottUSA.”

Another tweet: “I really scrutinized my groceries yesterday and refused to buy anything at all from the US…This is a great opportunity for Canadian grocery stores to seek out and stock more Made in Canada products. And Mexican. #BuyCanadian.”

The tweets have not been restricted to Canada. 

But the biggest backlash against the Trump administration has come from the Canadian government when it imposed tit-for-tat tariffs against U.S. steel and aluminum, along with 79 other products—from pizza to ketchup—valued at $12.6 billion, which Ottawa estimates is the value of 2017 Canadian exports affected by the U.S. measures. Canada’s tariffs took effect, with symbolic timing, on the July 1, Canada Day.

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