OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – As the trade battle between US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau continues to escalate, Trump’s threat to impose new tariffs on automobiles has industry stakeholders worried.
The auto industry is one of our largest exports, so when Trump tweeted at the end of the G-7 he is ordering officials to look at auto tariffs, it sparked a lot of concern.
Jerry Dias the head of Unifor, Canada’s largest auto workers union, says the economic impact would be huge.
“Not only to have 120,000 direct jobs, but the spin offs are about nine-to-one. So you’re looking at a million jobs here in Ontario.”
Dias says if Trump follows through, the Trudeau government will have to escalate its retaliatory measures.
“I think we have to fight fire with fire,” he says. “We have to strike back, we have to hit hard. I believe it’s the only real way to get this guy’s attention.”
Dias is suggesting the federal government start looking at measures that stymie the flow of electricity, oil and other natural resources that go to the US.
“I realize it sounds so foolish, but we’re dealing with an administration in the United States that really forces your hand.”
Our foreign affairs minister has said she hopes common sense will prevail, but is prepared to enact reciprocal measures.
The federal government has already announced dollar-for-dollar counter duties against the US tariffs on steel and aluminum.
They kick in on July 1.