Canadian tariffs hit imports of some U.S. goods in July

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada’s retaliatory tariffs sent imports of some U.S. goods sharply lower in July after a June surge, Statistics Canada data showed on Wednesday, offering a first look at the impact of the Canadian duties.

FILE PHOTO: The Canadian Pacific railyard is pictured in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia February 15, 2015. REUTERS/Ben Nelms/File Photo

On July 1, Canada imposed tariffs on a wide variety of U.S. steel, aluminum and other goods, from soy sauce to sleeping bags, in retaliation against U.S. President Donald Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs.

The tariffs effectively shut down imports of U.S. maple syrup, which dropped 97 percent between June and July, to only C$112,881 ($85,567.77), the data showed.

Canada dominates the global maple syrup trade, but in recent years, with many Canadian producers bound by a quota system and demand growing, imports from Maine have increased.

Imports of steel goods subject to a 25 percent tariff dropped 39.6 percent to C$368.6 million between June and July, after rising 32.7 percent in June. Imports of aluminum products targeted with a 10 percent duty dipped 5.2 percent in July.

Imports of all other targeted goods fell 22.8 percent to C$634.8 million in the month, after rising 14.0 percent in June.

Overall, the trade deficit narrowed to C$114 million ($87 million) from C$743 million in June, as exports rose 0.8 percent. It was the narrowest deficit since a surplus was posted in December 2016.

The rise in exports was led by energy products as crude oil exports climbed for a fifth straight month. Oil exports were helped by a 9.4 percent rise in prices.

In volume terms, exports fell 0.8 percent.

Imports slipped 0.4 percent, weighed by declines in aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts as well as metal ores and non-metallic minerals.

Exports to the United States rose 3.3 percent while imports dipped 0.1 percent. As a result, the trade surplus with the United States widened to C$5.3 billion from C$4.1 billion in June.

On a year-over-year basis, exports rose 16.3 percent and imports climbed 10.1 percent.

Reporting by Fergal Smith and Allison Martell in Toronto; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Leslie Adler