CBI Head Says A US Steel Tariff Will Impact Many Industries

The head of the Cross Border Institute at the University of Windsor says imposing tariffs on steel and aluminium will be counter-productive.

CBI Director, Dr. Bill Anderson, says the effect of the Trump administration's proposed 25% tariff on imported steel and aluminium will be an escalation in the cost of manufactured items.

He says it won't be a difficult thing to administer at the border, but will have much wider consequences.

He says it's a complex industry and this broad tariff doesn't recognize that.

"Steel isn't completely homogeneous, there's different types of steel and different things that are produced and traded back and forth, even some of the same companies produce certain types of steel in Canada certain types in the US and they just sort of swap it back and forth"

He says the Canadian response is likely to be matching the US tariff.

"If Canada does what most countries would do, and and respond with a similar tariff against US steel then it would really amount to a very big escalation in the  whole industrial complex here in the great lakes because most of the stuff is made out of steel"

He says this will impact more than just the steel business.

"All sorts of repercussions both downstream and upstream, so you would have effects of who produces iron ore and who produces coal that goes into the steel and also who produces scrap so all of those inputs is going to affected if the Canadian steel production were to go down"

Anderson points out even people in the steel industry have told the Trump administration it's not Canada that's the issue.