Media Release: Hamilton, Sault Ste. Marie and Windsor-Essex Regional, Sault Ste. Chambers of Commerce Offer Eight Recommendations to Prime Minister Trudeau to Help Steel Industry, High-Paying Manufacturing Jobs and Fair Trade

· by Huzaifa Saeed

Hamilton, ON, March 13th – The Hamilton, Sault Ste. Marie and Windsor-Essex Chambers of Commerce submitted a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau today, offering eight recommendations to help the steel industry, high-paying manufacturing jobs and fair trade.

The Prime Minister is currently on a tour of the Canadian Steel and Aluminum Industries, with a stop in Hamilton today and Sault Ste. Marie tomorrow, our letter is part of a broader advocacy partnership between the Chambers in light of the events occurring in Washington pertaining to the possible levying of tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum exports to the United States. The Hamilton, Sault Ste. Marie and Windsor–Essex communities are home to over 68% of Canada’s total steel production and highly integrated into North American supply chains.

The letter reinforces that in the Hamilton region, the steel industry directly employs 10,000 people and, through $2 Billion in local procurement, supports another 30,000 jobs. More than 40% of the 5.8 million tonnes of steel exported to the US – much of it integrated into the US auto, energy, construction and food packaging industries – is made in Hamilton. The steel industry will also play an active role in the Toronto-Hamilton-Waterloo Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster, which just received significant federal investment.

As part of his tour in Hamilton, Prime Minister Trudeau hosted a round-table with participation from the Chamber, Steel Producers, Labour Unions, Mayor Fred Eisenberger, MP Bob Bratina and Filomena Tassi.

“We had an optimistic discussion with the Prime Minister at today’s round-table on the prospects of securing Canada a permanent exemption against US Steel and Aluminum Tariffs, securing the best outcomes for Canadian businesses within the NAFTA negotiations, while reinforcing the urgency of measures necessary to prevent a diversion of steel dumping into the Canadian market.” said Keanin Loomis, President & CEO of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, “Our letter contains critical policy recommendations we’ve developed in consultation with the steel industry and trade professionals that are necessary to protect jobs and the survival of a steel industry in Hamilton” added Loomis.

The Hamilton, Sault Ste. Marie and Windsor-Essex Chambers of Commerce recommended that the government of Canada to act on behalf of steel and trade exposed industries to:

  1. Maintains its demand for an unconditional permanent exemption for Canadian steel from any US tariffs. It is important to make the case that Canadian steel is not the problem that the United States is looking to address and that a tariff on Canadian steel will only hurt the American consumer and disrupt highly efficient supply chains and steel-consuming
  2. Immediately develop surge remedies to prevent Canada from becoming a dumping ground for foreign steel. It is important that we harmonize our regulations and enforcement strategies with our US counterparts to ensure that shipments of steel from Canada do not incur costly, increased scrutiny at the US border.
  3. In recognition of the “critical circumstances” facing steel as a trade exposed industry and a foundational element of Canada’s national economy and security, explore in consultation with Canadian industry the utilization of existing tools under the Customs Tariff and Import and Export Permits Acts, as well as the development of new regulatory mechanisms to address the immediate threat of dumping diversion.
  4. Immediately bring into law relevant sections of Bill C-44 addressing enhancements to the Special Import Measures Act.
  5. Provide the CBSA with immediate enhancements to organizational resources to respond fairly, expeditiously, and transparently to unfair trading practices using both increased remedy and pricing investigations, timely and accurate tribunal processes and other tools available to it to meet our regulatory compliance obligations under NAFTA and the WTO.
  6. Negotiate the inclusion of steel in the calculation of NAFTA automobile rules of origin quotas. The inclusion of a wider range of steel products within these quotas will create fairness for Canadian and American steel producers and prevent carbon leakage.
  7. Develop a modernized government procurement policy that takes into account the carbon impact of steel inputs to reduce carbon leakage and improve fairness for Canadian workers and competitiveness of our steel industry.
  8. Continue to enhance programs and ongoing education efforts for Canadian importers and exporters, manufacturers, producers and industry stakeholders to educate on trade regulation and remedy processes.

Please see here for the full Letter to the Prime Minister on Steel Tariffs – March 13th 2018. 

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For more information please contact:

Huzaifa Saeed | Policy & Research Analyst | Hamilton Chamber of Commerce | t: 905-522-1151 ext: 230 | e: