Farmscape for May 21, 2019
The Vice President of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute says resolution of the Canada, Mexico, U.S. steel and aluminum issue is a key step for North American trade.
The United States has lifted duties imposed last year on steel and aluminum imported from Canada and Mexico and, in turn, Canada and Mexico have ended retaliatory tariffs on American products.
Colin Robertson, the Vice President and a fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, believes the decisive factor was pressure from within the United States.
Clip-Colin Robertson-Canadian Global Affairs Institute:
The retaliatory tariffs that Canada imposed in response to the American Tariffs was hurting particularly the American farm community because we basically put tariffs on a whole series of American agricultural production and on machinery coming from the United States.
A lot of the farm machinery that we use in Canada in made in the United States, some of it with Canadian steel and so these retaliatory tariffs were starting to put pressure on American workers who were finding that their ability to sell into Canada was less because it meant that we could sometimes buy things from Europe and other parts of the world for cheaper and so they were putting pressure on their members of Congress, both in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Remember the steel and aluminum production employment in the United States is probably around somewhere between 45 thousand and 60 thousand workers where as there are literally hundreds of thousands.
I've seen estimates of up to 600 thousand workers who use steel in the production of everything from tin cans to tanks.
With their costs having gone up it meant that they were less competitive with the rest of the world so the domestic pressures I think was decisive in convincing the President and Mr. Lighthizer to lift the tariffs.
Robertson says this is a positive development for North American trade and an important step in moving forward the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Wonderworks Canada Inc