'Natural boycott' of American goods likely as Montreal seek local goods
Published Friday, June 29, 2018 10:37PM EDT
Some Montrealers say they plan to start boycotting American-made products because of the tariffs – and it may happen organically as prices rise.
“If American products really become more expensive, there will be sort of a natural boycott in the sense that people will stop buying them. They will buy alternatives – Canadian alternatives – but also alternatives from elsewhere in the world,” explained Mathieu Bedard of the Montreal Economic Institute.
Some economists expect there could be a small boost to businesses on this side of the border.
“Ketchup is a classic one,” said Sylvain Charlebois, food distribution expert at Dalhousie University. “Heinz is an American label. They make ketchup in the United States. That 10 per cent tariff will create a disadvantage to the brand.”
Canada and the U.S. trade about $2 billion worth of goods every day.
The American economy is the largest in the world, and some wonder how long Canada can stick the tariffs out.
“One has to wonder what the long-term strategy is. We are 1/10th of the American economy. We have more to lose than the Americans when it comes to trade wars,” said Charlebois.