Sault Ste. Marie’s Chamber of Commerce joined their counterparts from Windsor-Essex Regional and Hamilton in Ottawa last week for an all-party Parliamentary steel caucus meeting. The message, said Sault Chamber Rory Ring, is simple.
Canada and the United States should not be fighting each other. Instead, as a joint North American market, they should work jointly to make sure the non-market economies are dealt with without creating blows to their own intertwined economies.
That’s the message the joint Chamber group was sending to the steel caucus, which will be attending an international meeting later this month in Washington. Sault MP Terry Sheehan, co-chair of the all-party Parliamentary steel caucus group said the same message has and will continue to be pushed by the steel caucus and from the Canadian government to its US counterparts.
“I always describe Sault Ste. Marie as a microcosm of how NAFTA works,” Sheehan said in a telephone interview from Ottawa. “Algoma makes Canadian steel by Canadian steelworkers and that steel supports the United States coalminers,iron ore industry, American truck companies and the car industry, just to name a few.”
Sheehan said he explains how NAFTA supports jobs and economies in both Canada and the United States. “I always say that we have bigger fish to fry with our foreign dumped steel and that we need to do that together,” he said.
Ring said the Chamber’s believe it is important for the message to be clear to the Canadian government before they head to Washington to meet with their U.S. counterparts.
“We wanted to connect and demonstrate to the committee the impact of what our members feel when there are external forces of unfair trade affecting them,” Ring said. “The pressures of non market economies can be great and they affect our producers and our competitive value.”
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