Trump Tariffs on Steel, Aluminum a Major Peril to Canada's Economy, MPs Told

By John Ward and Mike Blanchfield | The Canadian Press, June 26, 2018 | Go to article overview

Trump Tariffs on Steel, Aluminum a Major Peril to Canada's Economy, MPs Told


John Ward and Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press


Trump tariffs threaten recession, MPs told

--

OTTAWA - Canada needs to stand its ground in its ongoing tariff fight with the United States, witnesses from steel companies, manufacturers and the steelworkers union warned MPs Tuesday as President Donald Trump continued to hint there could be more hurt to come.

A parade of expert witnesses at a special meeting of the House of Commons committee on international trade expressed solidarity with Canada's array of retaliatory tariffs, slated to take effect Sunday, as they urged Ottawa to take steps to protect and support affected companies and workers.

"We support the countermeasures announced by the federal government and believe that they must be comprehensive and immediate," said Ken Neumann, the United Steelworkers union's Canadian director.

And he waved off the notion that Canada should avoid provoking Trump.

"If you don't poke the bear, he's going to eat your lunch," Neumann said.

Joseph Galimberti of the Canadian Steel Producers Association agreed, calling Canada's planned retaliation justified and appropriate.

"Our member companies strongly support the government of Canada's announced intention to impose tariffs on imports of steel, aluminum and other products."

The real trouble lies down the road, they warned.

The prospect of an all-out trade war is no longer an abstract notion -- it's a full-blown reality, said Jerry Dias, president of Unifor, the country's largest private-sector union.

"U.S. trade attacks on Canada are a clear and present threat to our national economy, period," he said.

And then there's Trump's ongoing threat to slap a 25 per cent levy on Canadian-made automobiles -- a measure he brought up again Monday during a campaign-style speech before supporters in North Carolina, where he again slammed Canada's supply management system for dairy products. …

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