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New U.S. maple syrup tariff creates sticky situation

By Devin Aggarwal, March 8 2018 —

In the wake of the recent steel and aluminum tariffs announced last week, the White House took aim at the world again, announcing a 50-per-cent tariff on maple syrup imports. Much like the other tariffs, the United States invoked a little-used clause in a 1962 trade law that allows for the declaration of tariffs due to matters of national security.

“We think our workers are excellent people — really excellent, the most excellent — and the security of their jobs is threatened on a national level,” President Trump said in a press conference after the announcement. “It’s clear that we have a national crisis on our hands. By imposing these tariffs, we can help keep our three maple syrup workers in Vermont safe.”

A White House spokesperson further clarified that the tariffs were “definitely aimed at China and not at Canada” in response to the flooding of cheap Chinese maple syrup into the market. This is understandable, as China produces a whopping 0.0003 per cent of the world’s maple syrup. Canada, by comparison, produces a measly 81.7 per cent.

“If we were to exclude Canada from the tariff, we would have to massively raise the tariffs on other countries, especially since Canada plays such a large role exporting maple syrup,” White House trade official Parker Nevada said. “But if we exempt them, we’ll have the whole world breathing down our necks so they can get their own exemptions for their prolific maple syrup industries.”

If the U.S.’s goal was to prevent the world from breathing down their necks, however, they have failed. In response to the “uncalled for and unnecessary” tariffs and in solidarity with Canada, many countries are threatening to impose their own trade barriers on national food staples.

Among the disgruntled countries is Brazil, which is threatening to stop shipping cocoa to the U.S. unless it gets its act together.

“Everyone knows that life without chocolate is not worth living,” Brazilian trade official Michael Miguel said in following Trump’s announcement. “We will put them through the fiery hell of chocolate withdrawal until they come crawling back to us begging for mercy and forgiveness.”

Trump, however, vows to stand by his decision and not back down to world pressures.

“We have to grow our maple syrup industry. After all, if you don’t have maple syrup, you don’t have a country,” the U.S. president claimed.

Ironically, Canadians certainly agree.


This article is part of our humour section.

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