U.S. steel, aluminum tariffs will cause ‘collateral damage’: Canadian producers

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OTTAWA — Metal producers in Canada are bracing for the fallout from stiff new tariffs proposed for U.S. steel and aluminum imports, regardless of whether Canadian companies are exempted from the trade duties.

Joseph Galimberti, president of the Canadian Steel Producers Association, says diverted steel previously headed for the U.S. could swamp Canada’s domestic market and also drive down prices in other countries, make it more difficult for Canadian producers to sell elsewhere.

Galimberti says the global steel market is widely understood to be over capacity.

Jean Simard, head of the Aluminium Association of Canada, says the tariffs will be felt most heavily by workers and consumers in the United States as the “collateral damage” spreads throughout the American economy in the form of higher prices and stunted growth.

President Donald Trump has said he plans to impose tariffs of 25 per cent on imported steel and 10 per cent on aluminum, without pledging to exclude Canada, which is the main supplier of both metals to the U.S.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is calling the trade measures “absolutely unacceptable.”

The Canadian Press