On Wed., May 8, MP Terry Sheehan will again travel to Washington on a trade mission with the International Trade Committee to meet with American politicians and other stakeholders to discuss opportunities for economic development as a result of free trade. Sheehan will emphasize that Trump’s section 232 executive order, which views Canada as a national security threat, used to impose illegal and unjust tariffs on steel and aluminum, must be removed.
MP Sheehan will remind both republican and democratic politicians that we have improved Canada’s trade remedy system each and every year, and it is now one of the strongest in the world and we need to work together to improve our industries and supply chains which are reliant on each other.
“After hearing about a decade of neglect by the Harper Conservatives, from both industry and union, I along with our government, have put into place action on trade measures and support for the steel industry,” Sheehan said.
In response to Trump’s section 232, the federal government implemented strong, direct, measured and proportional response to U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, of reciprocal surtaxes on $16.6 billion of imports of steel, aluminum and other products from the United States.
“Recently the Ford government called on the federal government to surrender and remove our counter measure tariffs on the U.S.,” he said. “Our position is, we will not capitulate until the American tariffs are lifted.”
- Particular market situation: The Government acted on a key ask of the steel industry- new tools to address price distortions, to provide more effective protection from dumped goods.
- Scope rulings: Domestic producers will now have a say in whether a particular product is subject to trade remedy duties, to ensure proper enforcement and application of duties.
- Anti-circumvention: The Government provided new tools to deal with circumvention of trade remedy duties (e.g. where exporters try to avoid duties)
- Union participation: Unions will be able to participate in trade remedy investigations, enabling them to make their views known when unfair trade practices affect jobs in Canada.
- $30 million over five years, which started immediately, and $6.8 million per year after that. Thus, adding more than 40 new officers to investigate trade-related complaints, including those related to steel and aluminum.
Further support for steel and aluminum:
- $2 billion in support measures to defend and protect the interests of Canadian workers and businesses in the steel, aluminum and manufacturing industries.
- $250 million available in new funding for targeted assistance as part of the ‘Strategic Innovation Fund’ managed by ISED.
- $90,000,000 in support for Algoma Steel. This investment will create and maintain jobs in Sault Ste. Marie.
- The Business Development Bank of Canada has made up to $800 million in commercial financing available over the next two years for eligible small and medium-sized businesses.
- Export Development Canada has made up to $900 million available over the next two years in commercial financing and insurance to companies in the steel and aluminum sectors and related industries including SMEs.
- Work-Sharing agreements, a three-party agreement involving employers, employees and Service Canada, has been extended from 38 weeks to 76 weeks for affected businesses in the steel and aluminum sector.
- $50 million over five years in new support will be provided to help Canadian companies diversify their exports to take advantage of new trade agreements, such as CETA and CPTPP.
- The ‘Regional Economic Growth through Innovation Steel and Aluminum Initiative’ has made available $100 million in support to Canadian small- and medium-sized steel and aluminum manufacturers and users for investments in innovative projects that will enhance productivity and/or competitiveness.
Further to these important supports for the steel and aluminum industries, we are committed to continuing to consult with industry and unions over the next few weeks to implement even, more support and trade actions to strengthen the steel and aluminum industries in Canada.