Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday March 15, 2018
PM Trudeau talks steel and doughnuts in Hamilton
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to do more to fight foreign steel dumping on a whirlwind Hamilton tour aimed at reassuring industry leaders and local workers worried about threatened U.S. Tariffs.
The Liberal PM managed to sandwich a steel industry roundtable and a visit to infamously vandalized Donut Monster on Locke Street in between tours of both Stelco and ArcelorMittal Dofasco Tuesday.
For the record… pic.twitter.com/gByeBNTh0w
— Graeme MacKay (@mackaycartoons) March 14, 2018
Canada dodged an economic bullet last week after U.S. President Donald Trump exempted its northern neighbour — at least for now — from a threatened 25-per-cent tariff on steel. Business leaders had estimated such a tariff could affect up to 40,000 local jobs in the industry.
But Trump has also insisted on stronger measures to stop countries trying to sneak cheap steel into the U.S. by shipping through Canada.
“That is a concern we share with the Americans,” said Trudeau following a tour of ArcelorMittal Dofasco, later vowing to “keep ensuring that Canadian steel is Canadian steel.”
He said Canada has already taken steps to crack down on steel dumping from countries like China — including adding customs inspectors — but emphasized the government is willing to do more. “We have a whole suite of tariff and countervailing duties that are at our disposal to move forward and ensure that we are not accepting unfairly produced or sold steel,” he said.
The PM also fielded questions from steelworkers on a tour of Stelco early Tuesday morning — even if he didn’t necessarily answer with the level of detail they sought.
United Steelworkers local union leader Gary Howe said his members asked if the Liberals will overhaul the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA), the legislative rules through which U.S. Steel Canada entered into bankruptcy protection and was ultimately sold and reborn as Stelco.
Frustrated local steelworkers have called the CCAA “legalized theft” and lobbied to enshrine more rights for workers during bankruptcy protection. “We want to know if the law will be changed,” Howe said.
Howe said Trudeau did not commit to specific changes, but agreed “there needs to be a conversation.” (Continued: Hamilton Spectator)