Despite the impending finalization of a new trade pact, tensions between the United States and Canada continue to rise.
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TL;DR Canada's retaliatory tariffs on American food imports are now having an effect on grocery store prices.
The legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada, of course, hasn't helped the situation. The drug is still federally illegal in the United States. Canadians who use the drug are the target of particular suspicion under the current, far-right Trump administration.
But antagonism between the two countries precedes legalization last month.
For months, Trump berated and coerced Trudeau government officials into agreeing to a new, disadvantageous trade deal that would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The president even laballed Canada and its economy a "risk" to American "national security."
Among these tactics were a series of tariffs on Canadian imports. In response, the government of Canada imposed its own tariffs on American grocery store items, including coffee, jams, and other canned items.
At the time, those tariffs seemed to consumers like political posturing. But now, those levies on food items are having a tangible effect on grocery store prices in Canada.
According to CTV News, major Canadian grocery store chains, including Loblaws and Metro, are officially reporting higher prices.
While a number of factors have contributed to these inflated prices, including a higher cost of transportation, the impact of Canada's retaliatory tariffs is undeniable.
Unfortunately, it appears these higher prices are here to stay. Even if the USMCA is ratified by the U.S. Congress and tariffs evaporate, costs will likely continue to rise as other industry demands become more expensive.
In the near future, Loblaws warns that consumers should expect even higher prices by the end of this year.