Canada may have declared war on American-made ketchup, but has given its sidekick, mustard, a reprieve.
Mustard made the proposed list of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, but the federal government dropped it just before the tariffs took effect July 1, cutting Canadian mustard seed farmers a break.
Several industry groups petitioned Ottawa to get certain items taken off its hit list. And while boats, dishwashers and ketchup imported from the U.S. still face a 10 per cent tariff, the cries of Canada's mustard lobby were apparently heard.
The industry feared the mustard tariff could have driven down prices for mustard seed exports to its biggest customer, the U.S. — or, even worse, that the United States would retaliate with tariffs on Canadian mustard seed.
"The people who would be hurting as much as anyone in all of this would have been the Canadian farmers," said Dave Macfarlane, a board member with the Canadian Special Crops Association.
Canada is the world's largest producer of mustard seed, thanks to ideal growing conditions in the Prairies. It's also the world's biggest exporter. In 2017, Canada sold $120 million worth of mustard seed abroad, more than half of it going to the U.S.