Alarming testimony before the international trade committee suggested that without government assistance, previously healthy businesses will go under within weeks
The human collateral damage of Donald Trump’s trade spoliation appeared in Ottawa Tuesday, to explain how the tariffs imposed by the U.S. on steel and aluminum imports are already causing hardship and job losses in Canada.
The alarming testimony before an emergency meeting of the international trade committee suggested that without government assistance, previously healthy businesses will go under within weeks.
There was also a very real sense that Canada is at the U.S. president’s mercy if he decides to follow through on his threat to impose 25-per-cent tariffs on this country’s auto industry. “There’s not an assembly plant in the country that could survive a 25-per-cent tariff,” said Jerry Dias, president of Canada’s largest union, Unifor.
Robert Dimitrieff, president of the Brantford, Ont.-based specialty steel company Patriot Forge, told the committee his business was founded in 1976 by his father to supply the power generation industry and the military with tough, forged steel.
It now employs 250 people in two plants in Brantford and nearby Paris. But Dimitrieff said the company will close “within a few months,” unless it receives some relief from tariffs. Patriot ships 90 per cent of its product to the U.S. but, worse, it will also suffer when Canadian retaliatory measures kick in on July 1 because it imports most of its alloy from specialty steel producers in the States.
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