Well, good morning! Lovely meeting you here again. Shari Kulha here with a breakfast basket of croissants, juices and articles to get you up and at ’em.
‘ABSOLUTELY IRREPARABLE DAMAGE’
Steel firms crushed by Trump tariffs have called on Ottawa for support, saying the federal government’s plan to introduce countertariffs could deepen the pain of Trump’s trade war. Jesse Snyder reports that ArcelorMittal Dofasco, Canada’s largest steel producer, is reviewing $750 million worth of potential investments, and could lay off 1,000 workers. Some firms said countertariffs could force them out of business in a matter of months.
WAIT, COME BACK!
Recent policies by the Liberals have worsened the investment climate in Canada, says the Fraser Institute’s Herbert Grebel, a professor at Simon Fraser University. Outflows hit a record $100 billion in 2017 and foreign direct investment is plummeting. Some causes are beyond Ottawa’s control, such as cuts in U.S. corporate income taxes and regulations, and lower oil and gas prices, but there’s more to it.
Representatives have warned officials that tariffs would decimate our auto industry. “A 25% tariff on parts and cars would cause ‘carmageddon’,” the president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association told Ottawa yesterday, Alicja Siekierska reports. “The industry operates on single-digit margins and it would grind to an immediate halt with a 25% increase in price.” Another said that we would experience a “tsunami-like economic downturn.”
We’re “dying by our own sword,” as far as the oil industry goes. While U.S. oil spending surges, Canada lags. Capital spending on exploration and production in the U.S. may rise 9.1% to US$132.5 billion this year, faster than in Canada, where spending, excluding the oilsands, is projected to rise 5% to $28.7 billion (US$21.6 billion). But include the oilsands, and the figure would drop 2% to $40.1 billion.
A TARIFF ERA
The Canadian government is planning to ward off a potential flood of steel imports from global producers who want to avoid U.S. tariffs, which are set to kick in on Sunday. The measures could be a combination of quotas and tariffs aimed at certain countries including China. This follows similar safeguard measures being considered by the EU. The announcement could come as early as next week.