Canadians Begin Boycotting US Goods

With Trump's trade war against China progressing and escalating seemingly every day, culminating for now with China's Friday announcement of another $60 billion in tariffs on US imports in response to Trump's threat to tax $200 billion of Chinese imports at a 25% rate, some China watchers expected that one of China's qualitative responses would be to appeal to local nationalist sentiment, urging for a "soft boycott" of US products - in line with the country's response to Japanese products during the 2013 East China Sea diplomatic clash. However, while China has so far resisted a US boycott, the same can not be said for another target of Trump's tariffs: Canada.

Exposing the growing backlash against Trump's trade policies, the WSJ writes that "ticked-off Canadians", angered by U.S. metals tariffs and Trump’s harsh words for their prime minister, are boycotting American products and buying Canadian.

Take Garland Coulson, a 58-year-old Alberta entrepreneur, who admits that while usually he doesn't pay much attention to where the goods he buys are coming from, saying that "you tend to buy the products that taste good or you buy the products that are low in price where taste isn’t an issue", he believes the tariffs from Canada’s neighbor are a "slap in the face," and added that in recent he has put more Canadian products into his shopping cart.

Or take Calgary resident Tracy Martell, who "replaced her Betty Crocker brownie mix with a homemade recipe and hasn’t visited the U.S. since shortly after President Trump’s inauguration."

Or take Ontario resident Beth Mouratidis is trying out Strub’s pickles as a replacement for her longtime favorite, Bick’s.

The push to " boycott America" and buy more Canadian products gained strength after the U.S. levied 25% tariffs on Canadian steel and 10% on aluminum starting June 1 and President Trump called Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “Very dishonest & weak” on Twitter following a Group of Seven meeting the following week. Canada in turn imposed retaliatory tariffs on some U.S. products, including foodstuffs such as ketchup, orange juice and yogurt.

“People sort of feel that we’re getting a raw deal from the U.S. and we have to stick up for ourselves,“ said Tom Legere, marketing manager for Ontario-based Kawartha Dairy Ltd., which has seen more interest in its ice cream recently. ”And this is their way at the supermarket of trying to do so.”

However, in their attempt to exclude US produce, Canadians have run into a problem: what is American, and what is really Canadian?

The logistical spiderweb of global supply chains has made even something as simple as a boycott surprisingly complex. It shouldn't be: after all, Canada is the U.S.’s top export market, taking a little more than 18% of all U.S. exports. According to some estimates, roughly 40% to 60% of food on Canada’s grocery shelves is from the US, while closely linked production chains make it tough to determine how much of any given item was produced domestically.

That has left would-be boycotters scratching their heads as they untangle how much of a given product was made or grown outside the country.

The confusion has led to a mini cottage industry: tracing the origins of Canadian products. "I’ll swear up and down something is 100% Canadian,” said Mouratidis, who curates a Facebook list of Canadian household goods, food products and other items. Occasionally, she runs into surprises: she was convinced Old Dutch chips were all-Canadian until she found out Old Dutch Foods Ltd. is a subsidiary. The parent company, Old Dutch Foods Inc., is based in Minnesota.

This leads to occasional exclusions on the boycott list: the Old Dutch snack food remains on Ms. Mouratidis’s list because the Canadian company makes its chips in Canada.

It has also led to a sales boost for companies whose products are not "diluted" with traces of American influence. A social-media post promoting Kawartha Dairy over “American” Haagen-Dazs ice cream was criticized by a Facebook user who pointed out that Haagen-Dazs products sold in Canada are made at a Canadian plant. The plant also uses Canadian dairy, Nestlé Canada Inc. confirmed.

Kawartha Dairy, which wasn’t involved in the original post, received more than a hundred emails and Facebook messages in recent weeks from Canadians asking where they could find the company’s ice cream.

Another product getting a boost from the “Buy Canadian” push: Hawkins Cheezies, a corn snack that looks like a denser and crunchier version of Cheetos that is made with Canadian cheddar. W.T. Hawkins Ltd., which makes the snack, said two large grocery-store chains recently increased their orders.

The growing animosity to "Made in America" has made some traditional staples non-grata: Kraft Heinz has been a frequent target for Canadians since Heinz stopped producing ketchup in Ontario in 2014.

A list circulating online recently that ranked consumers’ best options for Canadian products puts French’s ketchup ahead of Heinz because it is manufactured in Canada.

Then again, unlike the Chinese where a boycott really means a boycott, one wonder if for all the clamor, Canada's revulsion to US products is merely just another example of virtue signaling. After all, one sector where the boycott efforts are failing miserably, is travel. Although some people are deliberately staying away from the U.S., the WSJ notes that according to official Canadian data, overall cross-border car trips by Canadians were up 12.7% in June from the same month last year.


macholatte Sat, 08/04/2018 - 14:17 Permalink


No identity politics for produce.


What if there was strict food labeling law which required the identification of the place of origin, the chemicals used to grow the food and stuff like that?

I just learned that watermelon called seedless is not necessarily “seedless”.  It could be the product of growth hormone injections that cause the melon to grow very fast but not mature. So the white seeds found inside are immature seeds. The melon is not really seedless.

If You Open a Watermelon and See This, Throw It Out!


Joe Trader Sir Edge Sat, 08/04/2018 - 14:32 Permalink

yeah go boycott the States.. this comes after eastern canadians killed a pipeline carrying oil from west canada to the east... keep boycotting.. retards, we'll boycott you eastern canadians

It's nice to see Trump give it to eastern canadians: total pricks, they boycott their own canadian goods and now want to boycott American goods.. first figure out if you're coming or going

In reply to by Sir Edge

skbull44 Drater Sat, 08/04/2018 - 14:38 Permalink

This should not be about partisan politics or 'patriotism'. We should all be buying (and producing) locally. Global (even 'national') trade over long distances does a few things: makes many corporate/industrial oligarchs richer, and removes local self-sufficiency/-reliance--to say little about the power politics involved that can lead to war.

Once one relies upon long distance supply chains, especially for food/water/shelter, one becomes totally dependent upon the 'system' to survive. Not a great strategy when one can't control what occurs with those supply chains at all. This is particularly true with regard to food and water.

In reply to by Drater

snblitz skbull44 Sat, 08/04/2018 - 14:59 Permalink

Trade is sadly not a simple concept when it comes to national security.

I am a big proponent of buy local:

It is the best solution out there.

Foreign trade can be mutually beneficial.  For the most part it has not been beneficial for the US for the last 40 years.

Much of the problem centers around US politicians simply selling out to foreign interests through family, friends, and foundations.  The US worker has been left to dry up and die.

In reply to by skbull44

swmnguy Guderian Sun, 08/05/2018 - 04:32 Permalink

The Canadians don't mind importing products.  They are tired of subsidizing the US.  Trade isn't the problem.  It's the belligerence and refusal to reciprocate.

I'm in Europe right now. It's historically hot.  Most people don't have air conditioning because they've never needed it.  People are going to die.  The Europeans, believe it or not, expect their government to work for them.  They won't just die so corporate profits can continue to grow.

The US is going to be globally ostracized.  As the US provokes tariff wars, we'll face Treasury sell-offs.  We'll see deals only on condition of US adoption of climate treaties that will bind.  

The Canadians will do far better in the future by leaving the US to fester and forging stronger ties with everyone else as the US dismantles itself in the largest bankruptcy and liquidation takedown in history.

In reply to by Guderian

Endgame Napoleon Stuck on Zero Sat, 08/04/2018 - 15:53 Permalink

Germany & Japan put a lot of plants in the US, though, so I don’t know about them. Ultimately, it would be better to produce staples locally, like someone else said. The worst is the cheap-labor-advantaged manufacturing that we have now, where the US loses most of the breadwinner jobs in all categories of finished goods—from the low-end to the high-end, manufacturing only live hogs. 

In reply to by Stuck on Zero

youshallnotkill Stuck on Zero Sat, 08/04/2018 - 20:00 Permalink

None of these other nations sanction Canada by pretending it was a national security threat.

Hundreds of Canadian soldiers died in Afghanistan responding to the 9/11 terror attack on the US.

But all of this apparently counts for nothing.

You have absolutely no idea how pissed off Canadians are about this.

Couple days ago I spoke to a Canadian diplomat stationed in Asia. He told me he goes out of his way to not fly through the US, and to not purchase any American goods. He was a veteran, he still has many friends in the Canadian armed forces. He was livid with the American arrogance.

In reply to by Stuck on Zero

kbohip youshallnotkill Sat, 08/04/2018 - 23:27 Permalink

Trump's doing great and I'm VERY happy to have him as President.  I can see why you don't want to talk about Tru Ho though.  As for real Canadians I have no problem with them at all, but you having the audacity to whine like a little bitch about our President reworking our trade deals means you're just another globohomo that likes the idea of the US getting shafted with unfair trade agreements.  No more.

In reply to by youshallnotkill

youshallnotkill kbohip Sun, 08/05/2018 - 05:33 Permalink

Canada is one of the few countries the US has a trade-surplus with. What the fuck do you want?

And Canada always stood by the US for more than two centuries, but I guess you want to go back to 1812, by declaring the best neighbor the US could hope for a "national security" threat.

It's insulting given the Canadian blood that was spilled for the US, but then again you are obviously a-OK with that.




In reply to by kbohip

aloha-snackbar youshallnotkill Sun, 08/05/2018 - 11:35 Permalink

When you are number 1 economically and militarily it is a reflex to be arrogant as the US is globally known to be. When Canada stood by the US in their asinine wars, like Korea where my father was in the Canadian tank core and resulted in him becoming a paraplegic it is particularity painful when I see some of the Yanks comments on anything Canadian. When the shit hits the fan, say a historic environmental event causing rain and ruin in the US, the world will watch and say, you need my help, forget it, take it in the ass you deserve it. This will happen and it is a shame as American people by in large are as good as it gets and they missed the mark on being a human wave of compassion and strength as an example of being righteous but they instead shoot themselves in the face with their own hubris.

In reply to by youshallnotkill

Twaddlefree youshallnotkill Sun, 08/05/2018 - 12:17 Permalink

You’ll need them against the Chinese. Ever checked to see how much of your mining industry is owned by China? While you’re checking, research the actual NAFTA trade agreement between USA and Canada (which was highly opposed by most USA workers and many elected was a big deal, here), then try to claim that USA owes Canada something for the lives lost against terrorists.

I’m sure there won’t be any Canadians boycotting the USA medical care, either. When Canadians need life saving care, they come to the USA. 

Canada cannot produce all the goods Canadians need and want, including food. Canada cannot protect itself against aggressors. The entire world has relied on the USA for food and protection for decades, many of them receiving millions and billions of dollars in “aid” that mostly lines the pockets and offshore bank accounts of corrupt leaders, corporations, and terrorist organizations. It’s time for the sovereign nations which gripe and grumble about America and Americans to learn what true sovereignty means. 


In reply to by youshallnotkill

youshallnotkill Twaddlefree Sun, 08/05/2018 - 18:41 Permalink

I’m sure there won’t be any Canadians boycotting the USA medical care, either. When Canadians need life saving care, they come to the USA. 


Why would any Canadian go to the US and pay through their nose for medical care?

Canada cannot produce all the goods Canadians need and want, including food.

Canada is a huge grain exporter, not sure what you are smoking, but it must be some strong stuff to put you into opposite land.

And BTW NAFTA was opposed by Canadian lefties as well, because they never liked free trade.


In reply to by Twaddlefree

OliverAnd youshallnotkill Sun, 08/05/2018 - 02:09 Permalink

I guess he won't be buying another iPhone or MAC... What about all those computers in the embassy? I like to see Canadians boycotting US produce in the winter. Inflation will hit the ceiling. Do you believe it is economically viable to grow produce in -20 degrees Celsius temperatures in a green house? Or do you believe the Eskimos will be planting orange trees along the Arctic circle. Ironically the ones boycotting are the ones that will be hit the most as they will see their grocery shopping costs go through the roof. Trudeau has daddy's money and Khan to not care. What does the average Canadian have? A one million dollar mortgage for a home smaller than most American 3 car garages. Think about it. 

In reply to by youshallnotkill

VZ58 youshallnotkill Sun, 08/05/2018 - 02:59 Permalink

Blah, Blah , Blah...What utter BS. No one in Canada really gives a flying f*ck about a boycott except the preening leftists virtue signalling idiots in this country. If anything Canadians are pissed at the idiot clown in charge for leaving the Loonie in a tailspin at 75cents to the Greenback and screwing the heck out of everybody for taxes so that more "refugees" can walk across the border unfettered. Makes it a bitch to buy groceries when you spend the winter in your AZ or FLA second home and everything costs a quarter more. Wake up!

In reply to by youshallnotkill

bahian snblitz Sat, 08/04/2018 - 18:35 Permalink

make that 50 yrs. The Japanese electronics (Sony, Panasonic, Sharp etc.) started flooding in in the second half of the 60s. By the late 70s many US producers of TVs, stereos etc. were gone. Add vehicles, and a zillion other products from other Asian countries. Them jobs and factories ain't comin back, regardless of what Trump does.


In reply to by snblitz

Singelguy bahian Sun, 08/05/2018 - 05:50 Permalink

That is exactly what Obama said but manufacturing jobs ARE coming back to the USA. Never say never. It is all about economics. If the tarrifs are high enough and making products in the USA is more profitable, you can bet your ass that the factory will be moved to the USA.

In reply to by bahian

Village-idiot skbull44 Sat, 08/04/2018 - 19:03 Permalink

"Once one relies upon long distance supply chains, especially for food/water/shelter, one becomes totally dependent upon the 'system' to survive. Not a great strategy when one can't control what occurs with those supply chains at all. This is particularly true with regard to food and water."

Good luck with growing tomatoes in your back garden this January.

In reply to by skbull44

skbull44 Village-idiot Sat, 08/04/2018 - 22:15 Permalink

That's why knowing how to hunt and store food (i.e. dehydrating, freezing, canning, etc.) for off-season consumption is also important--to say little about having such extra stores for when the garden doesn't produce enough due to bad weather, pests, disease, etc..

How do you imagine people lived prior to cheap and easily-transportable energy (i.e oil and gas) that lead to 24/7 grocery stores, globalization, and long-distance supply chains?  And since such energy is finite...

In reply to by Village-idiot