An Ontario teen has created a website compiling a list of Canadian products – from clothing to instruments to electronics – for those who want hit back at the Trump administration’s tariffs with their wallets.
Tyler Campbell, who resides in Uxbridge, Ont., said he created shortly after July 1 when, in a tit-for-tat retaliation, Canada imposed surtaxes on $16.6 billion of American products in response to the Trump administration’s tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum.
“My dad, my uncle and I were all together for my uncle’s birthday party,” Campbell told CTV’s Your Morning. “We realized that we want to buy Canadian and we want to support Canadian businesses, but there’s not really an easy way to find out what is actually Canadian, so we figured why not just make it ourselves?”
The website’s database includes 234 “Canadian choices” across 18 categories such as furniture, toys, health and fitness, pet products and food. Each product’s listing includes details about where in Canada it is manufactured, where in Canada it is sold and whether it is Canadian-owned.
Campbell told CTV’s Your Morning that the response to his database has been “overwhelmingly positive” and that he often receives suggestions of products to add to this list from fellow Canadians.
He said that his website is “less about Trump and more about Canada,” noting that its overall goal is to promote Canadian-made products from Canadian-owned companies.
“My grandparents were immigrants from Ireland and they started their own small business 35 years ago,” Campbell said. “There are so many stories like theirs that don’t get shared and don’t get told.”
For Canadians hoping to shop patriotically, Campbell recommends buying local and paying close attention to product labels. A “Product of Canada” label means that virtually all of the major ingredients, processing and labour used to make the product are Canadian. A “Made in Canada” label is used for products when the last substantial stage of production of the product happened in Canada, even if some of the ingredients come from other countries.
Campbell said that while it is not impossible, it is expensive to buy only products made in Canada.
“In theory, I’m sure you could get by,” he said.