September 6, 2018 3:28 pm

Hamilton Steel Summit to stress threat of U.S. tariffs

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau voiced support for Hamilton steelworkers during a tour of ArcelorMittal Dofasco's Hamilton plant earlier this year.

Ken Mann/CHML

The importance of the steel industry to the local economy takes centre stage on Friday at Hamilton City Hall.

More than 200 people are expected to attend the Hamilton Steel Summit, including industry executives, union leaders and politicians from all levels of government.

READ MORE: Prime minister wraps up tour of Hamilton steel plants amid tariff threat

Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, will deliver a keynote address.

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Glen Norton, Hamilton’s director of economic development, says steel remains “vital” to Hamilton’s economy, with 10,000 people directly employed by the sector, primarily at ArcelorMittal Dofasco, Stelco and National Steel Car.

READ MORE: Morneau says U.S. has ‘invalid’ reason for imposing steel tariffs

The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce estimates that another 40,000 are working in spin-off jobs.

Norton expects American tariffs on Canadian steel to be a main topic of conversation during the summit.

He notes that the longer those tariffs remain in place, the more opportunity there is for “breaks in the supply chain” to lead a U.S. customer to finds a U.S. supplier.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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