Ontario welcomes U.S. decision to exempt Canadian steelmakers from U.S. tariffs
TORONTO, March 5 /CNW/ - Ontario Economic Development and Trade Minister Bob Runciman is pleased with today's decision by U.S. President George Bush to exempt Canada and Mexico from protective tariffs that range from 8 to 30 per cent on a variety of foreign steel imports.
"It is clear that Canadian steel is not the cause of current difficulties in the U.S. steel market," Runciman said. "The U.S. and Canada represent a fully integrated market for steel products and trade between the two countries is roughly balanced. More recently, the growth of U.S. imports into Canada has outpaced Canadian exports to the U.S."
However, Runciman added that he has written to Federal Trade Minister Pierre Pettigrew, indicating Ontario strongly supports the position of Ontario steelmakers. They want a clear message sent to the global steel industry that Canada is not to be considered a dumping ground for excess foreign steel production now that the U.S. has instituted these tariffs.
"The Ontario government expects the federal government to do everything it can to promote and defend the interests of the steel industry in this country," Runciman said. "Ontario's steel industry alone provides some 23,000 jobs directly, and tens of thousands more in related manufacturing industries such as the automotive sector. We cannot have these jobs in jeopardy."
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For further information: Media Contact: James Wallace, Minister's Office, (416) 325-8779