Government Communications

Remarks, House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade, Study on the Impact of Tariffs on Canadian Businesses, Companies and Workers

Mathew Wilson, Senior Vice-President, Policy & Government Relations discusses the potential impacts of U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum and, Canadian retaliatory measures on Canadian manufacturers.

CME has decided to respond to this situation as we always have- by engaging constructively with government, providing practical solutions, and relaying directly to you the thoughts of manufacturers.

We support the government’s retaliatory tariffs. They are a just response to the frankly absurd and insulting premise with which the US administration levied steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada. I would say that manufacturers support the counter tariffs too and they understand the political necessity to do so.

However, they are also concerned that Canadian counter tariffs will have a major impact on their businesses, especially if the tariff fight is prolonged, or intensified. Pain will be felt, of that we have no doubt, so the question becomes: how do we alleviate that pain? This is what I would like to talk about today.

CME responded to the Government’s consultation on June 15th after canvassing its members for 2 weeks. We had a very strong response rate, indicating to us that the level of concern among manufacturers is high. We would like to provide the committee with our 5 key recommendations that came out of this exercise.

Number 1: Focus on NAFTA renegotiation and concluding a deal.

Number 2: Exclude manufacturing inputs from retaliatory tariffs.

Number 3: Introduce safeguards to protect the domestic market against third-country dumping.

Number 4: Develop emergency relief funds for distressed industries.

Number 5: Reinvest tariff revenue into an investment support program.