B.C. com­pany em­broiled in U.s.-canada steel and alu­minum trade war

StarMetro Vancouver - - COVER STORY - JENNY PENG

Amid “record high” Cana­dian ex­ports in April and a trade sur­plus with the U.S. for the first time in six months, those in the prov­ince’s metal in­dus­try brace for rough seas ahead as the Canada-u.s. trade heats up.

Ac­cord­ing to the lat­est re­port re­leased by Sta­tis­tics Canada on num­bers in April, Canada’s trade deficit nar­rowed from $3.9 bil­lion in March to $1.9 bil­lion in April. Ex­ports rose 1.6 per cent to a record $48.6 bil­lion while im­ports were down 2.5 per cent to $50.5 bil­lion.

Out of the to­tal ex­ports, the metal and non-metal­lic min­eral prod­ucts saw one of the biggest in­creases at 9.1 per cent to $5.8 bil­lion.

But this rosy outlook could be short-lived.

Lo­cal in­dus­tries have been hit hard since U.S. tar­iffs on Cana­dian steel prod­ucts at 25 per cent and alu­minum prod­ucts at 10 per cent were im­posed on June 1.

Ari Burstein, pres­i­dent of Mar­con Me­tal­fab in Delta that pro­duces steel and rub­ber prod­ucts for in­dus­tries such as trans­porta­tion and build­ing con­struc­tion, said the com­pany re­lies much on raw steel shipped in from the U.S. where prices have jumped be­cause of lim­ited sup­ply flow­ing into the U.S. mar­ket from overseas.

Burstein an­tic­i­pates that once the Cana­dian govern­ment im­poses re­tal­i­a­tion tar­iffs, the com­pany will not be profitable on their con­tract to build guardrails for 50 high­way bridges around Cal­gary.

Sourc­ing from other coun­tries at thes­tar.com/van­cou­ver

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