Christian Provenzano is mayor of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
If international trade were a hockey game, it would be one that is rife with clutching, grabbing and underhanded tactics. As a player, Canada is trying its best to ignore this. We’re committed to playing by a code of politeness that our opponents choose to ignore. It’s time to muscle up, go into the corners again and have “fair trade” re-enter the lexicon alongside “free trade.”
The best way to begin doing this is by modernizing our trade-remedy system. Our current, antiquated system is putting our domestic industries at a competitive disadvantage, with the steel sector being particularly hard hit in recent times.
We have seen these effects in Sault Ste. Marie. Our largest employer, Essar Steel Algoma Inc., has entered creditor protection. Another large industrial employer, Tenaris Algoma Tubes, has endured layoffs and temporary shutdowns. Depressed commodity prices and difficult market conditions have played major roles in this situation, but the prevalence of unfairly traded imports has exacerbated it.
Canada’s trade-remedy statutes and regulations are now more than 20 years old. Since their adoption, offshore competitors have become shrewder about how to skirt them and how to mask unfair trading practices.
In response, many of Canada’s trading partners have strengthened their trade-dispute systems, most notably the United States. With stronger U.S. regulations coming into effect, Canada is now a natural entry point for dumped and subsidized products to enter North America.
For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-commentary/canada-needs-to-play-tough-old-time-hockey-to-protect-domestic-industries/article28930546/