Canada has similar labour standards and regulations to the US, while China has regularly dumped massive amounts of steel on the market in an effort to gain market share.
Donald Trump campaigned on the idea of imposing tariffs, and that promise was a key part of his victory in the ‘rust belt’ states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan – all of which have seen a decimation of numerous industries – including the steel industry.
Targeting China with tariffs – as Trump often said he would do – makes sense. Despite the fact that they are not the largest importer of steel into the US – that would be us here in Canada – China’s trade tactics (which regularly violate the rules) are designed to dump loads of cheap steel on the world market in order to take market share from other nations.
That has had a significant negative impact on both the United States and Canada.
After all, our steel industries are very similar – with relatively comparable wages and laws – especially compared to countries like China with state-dominated economies and almost non-existent labour standards.
That’s why it’s a big mistake for Trump to target Canada with steel tariffs.
Trump’s decision to impose blanket tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum will certainly hit the countries that have had an unfair advantage and made a mockery of ‘free trade’ such as China.
But they will also hit Canada, a close ally of the United States (at least among most of the Canadian people despite Justin Trudeau’s recent attempt to suck up to Communist China).
After all, we sell 85% of our steel exports to the US, all without taking actions that have harmed the US steel industry.
Unfortunately, unless Canada gets an exemption from the tariffs, this will end up letting China fly under the radar, as attention will be focused on the US allies that will get hit with tariffs, instead of a focus on China’s trade policies and slide further towards a ruthless dictatorship.
The positive aspect for Canada is that Trump often throws out a controversial initial proposal, and then makes changes to it later. And a change exempting Canadian steel from the tariffs would be a very wise move.
Photo – YouTube