Saskatchewan’s Premier has responded to the counter-tariffs imposed by the Canadian government.
The tariffs hit many products and industries from maple syrup, toilet paper and steel.
Premier Scott Moe said he’d rather see free and open trade between Canada and the USA, but the counter-tariffs are necessary in this instance.
“We have a number of jobs in this province, many jobs that are directly reliant on the steel industry and indirectly reliant on the steel industry as well, and we do export a large amount of steel to the U.S.”
With the Premier going to Washington next week to talk trade with various senators, Moe says the importance of these talks has heightened with Thursday’s announcement.
“We have an escalation of our trade relationship here now, and I think it escalates the importance of all sub-national leaders to continue to converse back and forth on the industries that are important to us.”
The counter-tariffs come in reaction to 10% tariffs on imported aluminum and 25% on imported steel from Canada.
NDP Leader Ryan Meili addressed the issue in question period about the tariffs.
“The United States is a very important customer for our steel exports. This tariffs would have a serious negative impact on Saskatchewan”
The move has steel workers in Regina worried, especially while the countries are negotiating NAFTA.
Mike Day, President of the local United Steel Workers, said when it comes to the negotiation process, they’re hoping for the right outcome.
“I don’t want to put all my eggs into this basket.” Day said. “As far as the government goes, they’re fighting back with those tariffs. Is that the right move? I don’t know. But we can’t stand there and let Trump bully Canada.”
Day said both workers and Evraz operate on both sides of the border, so it’s a difficult time for the industry.