Canadian foreign minister won’t rule out sanctions targeting Trump Organization

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland says she is not ruling out potential retaliatory sanctions against the Trump Organization in response to President TrumpDonald TrumpUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Trump sues NYT, Mary Trump over story on tax history McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE's recently announced tariffs. 

Freeland was asked by a Canadian lawmaker during a question period Tuesday whether the nation's government has considered sanctions targeting Trump's businesses, rather than the American people, in response to Trump's tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, according to the Canadian magazine Maclean's.


Freeland did not reject the idea, saying that the tariffs imposed by the Trump administration against Canada, Mexico and other nations are "illegal" and "unjustified," according to the magazine. She also echoed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's criticism, saying Trump's national security justification is an insult to Canadians.

“We are now in a consultation period. We welcome ideas from all Canadians on what should and what should not be in our retaliation list," she added, according to Maclean's.

The politician who posed the initial question, Regina-Lewvan MP Erin Weir, invoked the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act as a way to sanction foreign nationals. 

“It is an interesting one, given President Trump’s alleged ties with Russia,” Weir said, according to the magazine. “I can see how it would be seen as a radical measure, but we are confronted with a radical reality from the Trump administration."

Maclean's notes that the law Weir cites is most commonly utilized for foreigners responsible for human rights violations. It allows the government to enforce travel bans and asset freezes. 

The possibility of sanctions against the Trump Organization comes amid escalating tensions between the U.S. and Canada. After the Group of Seven summit, Trump and members of his administration attacked Trudeau after the prime minister said in a press conference he may impose retaliatory tariffs against the U.S. 

Trump said he would not sign the G-7 agreement and called Trudeau "weak" and "dishonest." Canada’s House of Commons on Monday responded by unanimously condemning the administration.