Ever since the President of the United States announced on Thursday that he will be raising tariffs on steel and aluminum, Canadian officials have been on high alert. Canadian officials immediately started working to secure an exemption from the tariffs, and have said they will retaliate if they are forced to pay higher tariffs. Joseph Galimberti, the president of Canadian Steel Producers Association has said that even if Canada can strike a deal with the United States, that it would still cause many problems. “It would significantly harm Canadian producers in our home market, just swamping the marketplace with that imported steel,” Galimberti said.
On Friday 9 Canadian steel executives sent government ministers, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a letter warning that if not exempt from the tariff, that it could displace thirteen million tons of steel that are sold in the United States. They asked for new legislation to be proposed that would help to defend the industry.
President Donald Trump’s announcement comes at a bad time for Canada’s steel and aluminum industry, which finally started to recover over the past few years, thanks to new investments and new jobs. These jobs and projects could be at risk if Canada does not negotiate a better deal than the 25% tariff that President Trump has suggested for all imports. Iron and steel products represent 2 percent of all Canadian exports last year, which may not seem like that high of a number, but with 85 percent of those imports going to the United States, it could have huge negative repercussions.
Canada isn’t the only one willing to fight back against the proposed tariffs. The European Union has said that it is looking to apply a 25 percent tariff on all imports from the United States, which is around $3.5 billion if the president carries out his idea to raise tariffs on global steel and aluminum.
Meagan Kozlovs is a reporter for Debate Report. She’s worked and interned at Global News Toronto and CHECX. Megan is based in Toronto and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe milk shake addiction, she’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.