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Tariffs one cause of Canada-U.S. price gap

OTTAWA - A Senate committee says Ottawa should launch a comprehensive review of tariffs as a way of narrowing the price gap between Canadian and U.S. consumer goods.

The committee says Canadian consumers feel ripped off by higher prices in Canada, but the problem is not as simple as it appears.

It cites factors like the different size in the market and the fact that suppliers often charge Canadian retailers more than counterparts in the U.S.

But it also notes that many witnesses pointed the finger at import tariffs applied by the federal government on imports of consumer goods, which can sometimes reach as high as 18 per cent.

Prior to the report's release, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said the government has been looking into tariffs, particularly on consumer goods, to see if they can be lowered or eliminated.

The report predicts that as competition increases and more consumers become price-savvy, the price differential will close.

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