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Workers are seen with steel pipes at a factory in Edmonton on June 21, 2018.CANDACE ELLIOTT/Reuters

Canada will offer an aid package worth between $500-million and $800-million to help steel and aluminum industries and workers who have been hit by U.S. tariffs, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland is due to make the announcement on Friday, said the source, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the situation. The aid would be spread over several years.

Freeland’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The source said the assistance would be similar to an $867-million package offered to Canadian softwood lumber producers in 2017 after Washington imposed tariffs.

That took the form of loans, loan guarantees, commercial financing and support to help firms expand overseas markets. It also included money to help affected workers learn new skills and provided support for work-sharing agreements.

U.S. President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum last month, citing national security reasons.

Canada promised to react by imposing retaliatory tariffs on $16.6-billion worth of U.S. exports and Freeland is due to outline exactly which goods will be hit, said the source.

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