Harper government looking to reduce tariffs to combat U.S. price gap: ‘secret’ report

National Post | News

OTTAWA — The Harper government is set to propose a number of new measures to close the U.S.-Canada consumer price gap, including the possibility of extending the tariff relief offered on sports equipment in the last budget to consumer electronics and other products.

Internal documents obtained by the National Post reveal the government’s concern at prices it says are, on average, 15% higher than those paid by U.S. consumers before taxes.

The policy deck, marked “secret,” said an analysis by the Finance department suggests “country pricing” by multinational companies — the attempt to maximize profits by boosting prices in different countries — is the most likely factor behind the higher prices.

It says the government tried to reduce the price of baby clothing and sports equipment in the last budget by removing tariffs that were as high as 18% on hockey skates. Ottawa has hired a market research company, Nielsen…

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