Canada has introduced tariffs on a large number of US exports – including many food products – in response to President Trump’s decision to tax Canadian steel and aluminium entering the US.

The tariffs, issued on goods with an export value estimated at US12.5bn, came into force yesterday (1 July) – Canada Day – and are intended to hit US manufacturers in the pocket as a response to Trump’s ‘America First’, anti-import measures.

As well as a 25% tax on imported US steel and aluminium, Canada has imposed a 10% tariff on a raft of other US goods imported into the country including food items such as toffee, maple syrup, strawberry jam, chocolate and other confectionery, some prepared meals and packaged food including soup.

The list also includes tomato ketchup which is being interpreted as a symbolic move.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave his Canada Day speech at the Highbury Canco tomato canning and food processing operation in Leamington, Ontario, where the tomato paste used in French’s Ketchup is made.

French’s – owned by McCormick & Co. – states its ketchup sold locally is made with Canadian tomatoes – a comment interpreted by some as being aimed at rival Kraft Heinz. The then HJ Heinz shut a Canadian plant in Leamington four years ago with the loss of 750 local jobs.

In his speech Trudeau hit a note of defiance on the on-going trade war. He said: “This is who we are, we’re there for each other in times of difficulty, in times of opportunity. We lean on each other and we stand strong and that’s what we do from coast to coast to coast.”