Greetings, handshakes, and, yes, selfies, were exchanged during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to Algoma Steel on Friday morning.
This stop was part of Trudeau’s victory lap around Canada after the recent lift of the steel and aluminum tariffs.
After joining some of the steelworkers for lunch, Trudeau spoke about the recent tariff lifts and what his government plans to do to continue safeguarding tariffs and secure jobs.
“Lifting the tariffs takes off a big challenge,” he said in a media scrum. “particularly because here in the Sault there’s a tremendous amount of exposure to the American market.
“Those tariffs really were a challenge for Algoma and others.”
Trudeau acknowledged that while lifting the tariffs is an important step, there’s still more to do to ensure steelworker job security.
“We continue to have the safeguards on plate steel, we continue to look forward on ways of ensuring that we are protecting our steelworkers and the Canadian steel industry from the impact of a global market that is very challenging at times. We’re going to continue to stand strong against trans-shipments.”
Trudeau explained that these measures were integral to the approach his government took with the U.S and Mexico when they were lifting the tariffs.
“As we lifted our counter-tariffs, we committed to continue to watch very, very closely to make sure that our North American steelworkers are still secure and able to contribute the way they always have.”
“I think it’s a fabulous day,” Algoma Steel CEO Mike McQuade said in a media scrum.
“It’s basically a week after the tariffs came off, which was good news for all steel workers and certainly good news for Algoma and Sault Ste. Marie, so it’s a fabulous way to celebrate and reinforce what a positive step this was.”
McQuade said there was an obviously positive reaction when they heard the tariffs had been lifted, as they were “very determential” to the income of Algoma Steel.
“The lifting of (the tariffs) is a relief and secures reinvestment and confidence and financial performance of this industry and that’s key to citizens, the employees and so on.”