The new Ontario government is days away from being sworn in and international trade issues are expected to dominate the provincial and national business agenda for the foreseeable future.
All provincial chambers of commerce, local boards of trade and chambers of commerce, and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce are united in support of the Canadian government’s efforts to defend Canadian interests in the face of unprecedented trade actions by the Trump administration.
Canadian business is united behind the Canadian government position that steel and aluminum exports from Canada do not pose a national security threat to the United States. Ontario manufacturers and related businesses are on the front lines of the cross-border supply chains that drive the Canadian and American economies and support mutual national security through our joint industrial base, therefore such retaliatory action as tariffs are not warranted.
Canada’s Innovation Corridor Business Council, a coalition of chambers and boards of trade between Waterloo Region and Toronto, recently wrote to the prime minister supporting the national business position and further noted that a potential future tariff on Canadian assembled vehicles entering the United States would be devastating across the Ontario automotive sector as well as in the United States.
Furthermore, the progress of our Next Generation Manufacturing Supercluster Strategy, which is built around the application of locally developed technology into Ontario manufacturing, could be severely affected by the lack of access into U.S. markets through tariffs and duties.
The Canadian and provincial chambers of commerce have recommended that Canada’s advocacy efforts on the ground in the United States be stepped up as a means of engaging and educating Americans on the importance of our bilateral relationship.
The ongoing threat by Trump of new tariffs only underscores the need for Canada to act now. Contrary to President Trump’s assertions, trade wars are not good and there are no winners. Ultimately, business and consumers alike suffer the consequences on both sides of the border.
All chambers of commerce and boards of trade across Canada are currently utilizing their vast network of members and contacts to ensure our American business partners understand the gravity of the current situation.
Despite recent U.S. actions, Canadian negotiators must remain at the NAFTA table and not allow the illegal and unjustified U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs to derail negotiations for an enhanced NAFTA deal that meets 21st century business needs for Canada, Mexico and the United States.