Response to the American protectionist measures
QUÉBEC CITY, June 29, 2018 – The Government of Québec is satisfied by the measures announced by the federal government today which aim to support the companies and workers of the aluminum and steel industries. These measures are comparable to the actions undertaken by the Government of Québec in response to the American administration’s protectionism.
In order for the measures to be effective, the Government of Québec and the federal government must be united. The Government of Québec will contribute its thorough knowledge of Québec’s aluminum and steel industries so that help can quickly be given to the companies and workers that need it.
In terms of imposing countermeasures, the Government of Québec believes this constitutes a necessary and commensurate response to the American protectionist measures, which are a direct attack on Québec’s economy. Québec will continue to work with the federal government and the other provinces and territories, particularly in the context of challenges to the authority of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization. We all share the same objective: to completely and permanently eliminate aluminum and steel tariffs.
This was confirmed today by Philippe Couillard, Premier of Québec, Dominique Anglade, Deputy Premier, Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation, and Minister responsible for the Digital Strategy, and Christine St-Pierre, Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie and Minister responsible for the Laurentides region.
This week, I was in Washington to defend the economic interests of the Québec companies and workers that are affected by the imposition of American tariffs on aluminum and steel. I reminded the members of the Trump administration that the protectionist measures instituted by the United States will have consequences for both the American and the Québec economy. I particularly emphasized the fact that our economies are intertwined and that political and economic stability will help maintain investor confidence on both sides of the border. I also reiterated the importance of maintaining full supply management for our farmers and dairy producers.
– Philippe Couillard, Premier of Québec
I would like to reiterate that the Government of Québec, in collaboration with the Government of Canada, will continue to stand with the representatives of Québec’s aluminum and steel sector, the trade unions, and the relevant ministries until Canadian and Québec aluminum and steel are entirely and definitively exempt from tariffs imposed by the United States. We have made $100 million available through the ESSOR program in order to support processors and ensure that they have the liquidity necessary to continue exporting. We will continue to defend our aluminum and steel industries regardless of the cost, because 30,000 workers and their families depend on it.
– Dominique Anglade, Deputy Premier, Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation, and Minister responsible for the Digital Strategy
Let me remind you that in the United States, the Department of Defense, numerous elected representatives and manufacturers have opposed tariffs on aluminum and steel from strategic partners of the U.S., like Canada. We will continue to meet with American representatives in order to encourage them to pressure their government to eliminate these completely unjustified and unacceptable tariffs. The goal of the Government of Québec is not only to achieve complete and permanent exemption from these tariffs, but also to demonstrate their negative effects on both sides of the border.
– Christine St-Pierre, Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie and Minister responsible for the Laurentides region
- In April 2017, the American administration ordered the United States Department of Commerce (DOC) to conduct studies on the repercussions of aluminum and steel imports on national security. The DOC filed its reports in January 2018, in which it also analyzed the effects of these imports on the American aluminum and steel industries. The findings of these reports were made public in February.
- On May 31, 2018, the American administration announced that it would be ending Canada and Mexico’s temporary tariff exemption. As a result, since June 1, 2018, 10% tariffs on aluminum and 25% tariffs on steel have been imposed for these Canadian exports to the United States.
- Remember that the Ministère de l’Économie, de la Science et de l’Innovation has made $100 million available in loans and loan guarantees through the ESSOR program in order to support Québec companies in the aluminum and steel industries that could require a short-term cash injection due to the American administration’s decision to impose tariffs of 10% on aluminum and 25% on steel exported by Canada to the United States.
- To support at-risk workers in SMEs, Emploi-Québec’s financial contribution to the costs of training employees has been raised from 50% to 85%.
- Around 50% of the United States’ primary aluminum imports are from Québec, and roughly 60% of Québec steel exports are destined for the U.S. market.
- In 2017, Québec exported over $7 billion worth of aluminum to the United States, nearly 90% of all Québec aluminum exports.
- In 2017, Québec exports to the United States of steel products and products made from purchased steel accounted for $788 million and $291 million, respectively.
- In Québec, the aluminum industry generates about 30,000 jobs, more than 7,000 of which are in the primary industry.
- The metal product manufacturing sector represents 42,000 jobs, while the steel industry and the manufacturing of steel products made from purchased steel generate more than 3,200 jobs.