Steel Czar Zekelman Agrees With Trump Tariffs

One of Canada's main steel industry moguls sees the American tariffs on steel and aluminum the way Donald Trump does.

Lakeshore resident and Atlas Tube owner Barry Zekelman says Canada should be following the move, not opposing it.

Zekelman says he has the Harrow operation, but also 15 in the US and he admits this will cost his company money.

He says this is mostly about reaching a NAFTA deal, which he says should not be difficult.

"Canada's probably in the best position to conclude something, we're at a point now where my understanding is we're only, the only real contentious issue on NAFTA is the sunset provision, the sunset clause.  I don't see an issue with having a five year sunset clause, I don't think it really hampers the spirit of the deal"

Zekelman says a "sunset clause" in NAFTA would allow the countries to avoid the kind of stalemate they're in now.

"It's an ability for all parties to come back and tweak things every five years and just talk about the agreement, it's a formal mechanism, rather than let it sit out there in perpetuity and build to a climax like today where there's real systemic issues"

He says the federal government's announcement of countervailing duties is a bad move.

"Canada retaliating in this matter is poking a stick in the US's eye and the trade team there and President Trump and I really do think it's amateur at best, I think that our Prime Minister is way out of his league and he needs to get the deal done"

Zekelman says the Canadian government has not helped his business because it allows countries like Vietnam, the Philippines and South Korea to make pipe out of Chinese steel and undercut prices in Canada.

He says that's why he had to shutter a plant in Welland, putting 120 people out of work.

-- with files from News Director Manny Paiva --