Boycotting U.S. products? Here’s how to buy Canadian during a trade war

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A guide to buying Canadian-made products
WATCH: A guide to buying Canadian-made products – Jun 19, 2018

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story said that French’s is a Canadian company. In fact, the company is American but uses Canadian ingredients and has a plant in Canada.

As the trade dispute between the U.S. and Canada continues to mount, some Canadian customers are hoping to hit back against our southern neighbours with their wallets.

This comes after U.S. President Donald Trump slapped Canada with tariffs on steel and aluminum last month, causing Canada to retaliate with its own levies. And when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended Canada, saying our country “won’t be pushed around,” Trump accused him of being “meek and mild” and “dishonest and weak.

READ MORE: Buy Canadian? Some considering boycott amid tariffs imposed by Donald Trump

This seems to have struck a chord with Canadian consumers and some are considering focusing their spending within Canada to show solidarity, using the hashtag #BoycottUSProducts on Twitter.

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“We’ve always had trade disputes with the U.S., but combine this with the fact that the U.S. president is largely unpopular in Canada, and he is personally attacking the prime minister … and Canadians take it as an offence,” said Christo Aivalis, a postdoctoral fellow in the University of Toronto’s department of history.

Canadian are the biggest buyers of U.S. goods in the world, so it may be difficult to find made-at-home products in grocery stores and malls, especially if it means paying a higher price.

However, if you are hoping to boycott U.S. goods, here is a list of Canadian products to try out (local fresh products are also in season, so take advantage of a farmer’s market near you).

WATCH: What will a trade war mean for Canada?

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What will a trade war mean for Canada?


Some of the largest coffee names are made in the U.S., such as Maxwell House, Folgers and Starbucks.

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READ MORE: Tim Hortons’ reputation plummets in new survey — why Canadians may be fed up

Second Cup is a Canadian retailer with cafes across the country. The company does not grow its own coffee beans, but you would still be supporting a Canadian coffee retailer.

Other brands, such as Kicking Horse coffee, are made-in-Canada options that also practice fair-trade.


You can ditch the American-made whiskey, such as Jack Daniels and Jim Bean, for some Canadian quality liquor. Crown Royal and J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe are both are Canadian-made whiskies.

READ MORE: U.S. again targets B.C.’s ‘unacceptable’ wine regulations, as ‘unfairly’ keeping American products off shelves

And then you have the Canadian beer companies to choose from (albeit only brewed here), such as Molson Canadian, Labatt Blue and Alexander Keiths (not to mention all the local craft beers across the country).

If you’re a wine drinker, then you’re also in luck, as many liquor stores are stocked with provincial products from wineries in Ontario, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Quebec (to name a few).

WATCH: Canadian wines from coast-to-coast

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Canadian wines from coast to coast for Canada Day


In 2014, Heinz closed its plant in Ontario and moved to the U.S. However, French’s is a brand that uses Canadian ingredients that you can get behind for your BBQs this summer.

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Maple Syrup

The big maple syrup brands such as Aunt Jemima and Mrs. Buttersworth are American companies, but there are a lot of Canadian-made alternatives — just look for the “made in Canada” label on the bottle.

READ MORE: Everything you ever wanted to know about maple syrup

Eighty per cent of the world’s maple syrup is produced in Canada, with over 10,000 maple farms and more than 44 million maple taps, according to Statistics Canada.

Orange Juice

Minute Maid orange juice (although owned by American company Coca-Cola) is made in Peterborough, Ont., so you’re helping out Canadian market when purchasing it.

Toilet paper

Charmin, Scott and Cottonelle are the big U.S. brands for toilet paper products, but there are Canadian options.

One is Cascades, a Quebec-based tissue paper manufacturer, which operates several plants within the province and Ontario. Kruger Products is another option, as the company makesCashmore and Purex bathroom tissue lines in B.C., Ontario, and Quebec.


Liberté is also produced in Quebec, and has an added bonus by using local dairy.

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