Ten Percent Tariff On Maple Syrup. Quebec politics?

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It is hard to believe Canada imports any maple syrup. After all, the province of Quebec produces "70 percent of the world's output,” says Wikipedia.   Nevertheless, on Friday, Canada imposed a 10% tariff on U.S. maple syrup, an iconic product of Canada and Vermont. The tariffs, on a variety of products and predominately steel and aluminum, are in response the imposition by the United States of a steel and aluminum tariff.   

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Vermont producers will be hurt. Vermont is the biggest maple syrup producer in the United States, generating about six percent of the global supply. However, most of Canada's imports come from Maine, reports Reuters, with total imports from the U.S. being about US$ 13.1 million. In comparison, Canada exported US$ 360 million of maple syrup to the world in 2016, according to Wikipedia. 

Why pick on maple syrup to retaliate on steel?  To the extent the tariffs are focused on products produced in states with political clout with President Trump, Vermont seems a odd choice. Maine has one Republican Senator, Susan Collins. Perhaps Quebec politics are an issue? Reuters says that maple syrup is “a powerful industry in the French-speaking province of Quebec,” and that Quebec “has a provincial election scheduled later this year.” 

POSTED: 06.30.2018 

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