Premier Scott Moe heading to D.C. to discuss steel tariffs, NAFTA

Premier Scott Moe will be heading to Washington D.C. next week to discuss steel tariffs and NAFTA. Adrian Raaber/Global News

The United States’ 25 per cent tariff on steel could mean trouble to the Evraz Steel Mill in Reinga. The multinational company employs approximately 1,000 people in the Queen City.

The Trump Whitehouse previously announced a 10 per cent aluminum tariff in addition to the steel tariff early this year, but delayed implementation for Canada, Mexico and Europe.

With no clear end in sight to the North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiations, these tariffs will take effect at 12 a.m. June 1.

The Saskatchewan government says $215 million in steel exports were shipped south of the border last year.

Premier Scott Moe said he had a brief phone conversation with the president of Evraz May 31. The two will meet to discuss the implication of the tariff, and Canadian response soon.

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The Canadian government announced retaliatory tariffs steel, aluminum and a wide variety of other goods Friday afternoon.

“It’s everything from steel to toilet paper to inflatable boats to prepared mustard,” Moe said. “We export a lot of raw mustard seed from this province so we want to ensure that we are not having a negative impact on some of our other industries.”

READ MORE: Canada retaliates against U.S. steel, aluminum tariffs, announces dollar-for-dollar ‘countermeasures’

The provincial government will perform an impact analysis to see how the American and Canadian counter-tariffs affect Saskatchewan’s economy.

These announcements shift the tone of Moe’s already planned trip to Washington D.C. next week. Moe is scheduled to meet with several senators, congress members and three of President Donald Trump’s senior staff members.

NAFTA and these tariffs is expected to be at the centre of the discussions.

“It’s been a beneficial trade agreement not just for Canada or Saskatchewan but for the entire continent of North America, I would put forward. It’s one that we look forward to getting back into place, an updated agreement of some type.”

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