In an effort at mitigating damage done to the dominion’s small- and medium-sized aluminium and steel manufacturers by the Trump Administration’s Section 232 tariffs, the Canadian government said Monday that it plans to send C$100 million (US$74.6 million) to affected manufacturers and users of the metals.
Navdeep Bains, federal minister of innovation, science, economic development and regional development agencies, made the announcement earlier this week, noting that the funds will be targeted at projects dedicated to enhancing productivity and competitiveness as well as fostering new technology.
“In the face of unjust and illegal U.S. tariffs hurting businesses and workers on both sides of the border, our government is standing shoulder to shoulder with our hardworking steel and aluminum workers and users of their world-class products.”
Bains said that the funds will help around 300 small- and medium-sized aluminium and steel businesses, with the primary criteria being that at least 20 percent of the firm’s input costs must involve one or both of the metals. The program is separate and apart from a C$2 billion infusion one year ago targeting both businesses and workers in the aluminium and steel sector.
“Our investment to support small- and medium-sized producers and users across the country will help businesses innovate to drive productivity, scale up, and expand into new markets to create good middle-class jobs,” Bains continued.
Ottawa and Washington, D.C. are in continuing dialogues regarding the blanket tariffs on aluminium and steel, with both sides expressing varying degrees of hopefulness for a breakthrough in the near future. The Canadian government has not gone so far as to say that ratification of the USMCA is contingent on removal of the tariffs, but Canadian officials have strongly hinted at the idea.
“We recognize these industries have been subjected to and impacted by unfair and illegal tariffs imposed by the United States under Section 232,” said Bains. “These aluminum and steel tariffs are completely unacceptable.”