“Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives stand with Canadian workers employed in the steel and aluminum industry as we respond to the devastating tariffs being imposed by the United States. We agree with the assistance measures for these industries announced today, but would have preferred a commitment that reciprocal tariff revenues be dedicated to these industries on a direct basis.
“This threat has been looming for over a year, causing massive uncertainty and a turbulent investment climate. Rather than working with the American administration a year ago on concerns about steel dumping, the government is now playing catch-up to impose safeguard protections that we hope will lead to Canada being exempted from American steel and aluminum tariffs. We believe that assistance measures announced today, while necessary, could have been avoided entirely had the government taken swifter action.
“The Trudeau government’s large deficits and high taxes have left us weak and vulnerable to tariff action. He spent the cupboards bare when times were good and his refusal to compete for and attract international investment through lower taxes and less regulation means Canada is losing opportunities to strengthen and diversify its economy. This is why we would prefer that all tariff revenue be applied directly to impacted industries on a one-to-one basis, rather than billions in deficit financing by the Liberals.
“We are confident that the government’s renewed commitment to impose rule of origin safeguards on steel and aluminum will cause the Americans to remove section 232 steel and aluminum tariff application on Canadian businesses. Conservatives have been asking for such measures for some time, which will address wider American trade concerns about Chinese trade practices. It is our hope that these moves will also show the Americans that we intend to get NAFTA and cross-border trade discussions back on track.
“Canada’s Conservatives top priority is to have these tariffs removed on Canadian steel and aluminum. We will continue to work with Government of Canada and bring forward concrete ideas to defend local jobs and will push them to keep our economy competitive amid these fast changing global conditions.”
~ Office of the Honourable Erin O’Toole