March 13, 2018 9:53 am
Updated: March 13, 2018 10:41 am

Bill Kelly: Trudeau’s right about tariffs, but it may not matter

WATCH ABOVE: Trudeau meets with Hamilton steelworkers amid steel tariffs worries


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in Hamilton on Tuesday for the second leg of his cross-Canada tour of steel plants, and he’s likely to get an earful from local steelworkers.

There’s still a lot of resentment about the shoddy treatment that steelworkers and retirees received during the U.S. Steel bankruptcy protection proceedings.

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READ MORE: Canada also faces threat of dumped Chinese steel, will work with U.S. to prevent threat to jobs, Trudeau says

But right now, the more pressing issue is the threat of Donald Trump imposing tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum. Those tariffs would be crippling to the Canadian steel industry, which provides direct employment to 10,000 in the Hamilton area alone.

Even while talking with Canadian steelworkers, the Prime Minister continues discussions with American political leaders and economists.

LISTEN: Justin Trudeau joins the Bill Kelly Show

The encouraging news is that there is almost total unanimity that the tariffs would be just as harmful to the American economy as they would on this side of the border.

READ MORE: Trudeau says U.S. aluminum tariffs won’t force Canada’s hand in NAFTA negotiations

The bad news is, it may not matter, because Trump, as he so often does, has ignored common sense in the pursuit of his own agenda. He’s using the tariffs as leverage to extract more concessions from the Canadian side in the NAFTA negotiations.

The prime minister is right to stand up for Canadian steel and he’s presenting the strongest possible case against tariffs, but Trump has never let the facts get in the way of his political bombast and that means the prospect of a good outcome from this threat is still very much in doubt.

Bill Kelly is the host of the Bill Kelly Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML


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