Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejects the idea that export quotas replace tariffs on steel and aluminum.
Visiting Alma on Thursday, where he came to make an announcement on tax measures for students returning to school, Prime Minister Trudeau reiterated his support for the workers in the aluminum industry who are suffering the impact of tariffs on Canadian exports.
“There has been some talk from the Americans about possible quotas. We say: “absolutely not,” said the Prime Minister.
Justin Trudeau does not want the Canadian metallurgical industry to limit its growth. “Especially in the aluminum industry, what we see in the [Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean] region is a world-class industry that emits fewer greenhouse gases”, he added.
In Alma, the consequences of this tariff war are very real. Rio Tinto is delaying an investment to expand an aluminum billet mill because of continuing uncertainty in the industry.
Canada still has not ratified the United States Canada Mexico Agreement (AEUCM). Prime Minister Trudeau has linked his ratification to the elimination of this surcharge imposed by the United States.
“And I know that while we are looking at the ratification of both sides of the border of the new NAFTA agreement, there are many questions that arise on this issue. We continue to put pressure on the Americans to remove these tariffs, “he said.
The Canadian government has support in the United States, Trudeau said. “We have been working hard for months to remove them. We understand how much it is not just a perspective on the Canadian side. There are a lot of congressmen in the United States, who are also opposed to this tariff war, which does no good to anyone. Neither on our side of the border nor theirs. ”
Earlier, Justin Trudeau met with the media to promote the federal government’s latest budget.
The Prime Minister visited Alma College to focus on his government’s skills and manpower training measures, including the “Canada Training Allowance”.
He extolled the program to allow workers to receive financial assistance to upgrade their skills and acquire new ones throughout their careers.
“Creating jobs is just part of the equation, and you need to make sure workers have the right skills to seize opportunities,” said Trudeau.
Under the terms outlined by the Prime Minister, Canadian workers will get “a $250 tax credit each year” to provide upgrading training.
Every four years, professionals would therefore bet on a sum of $1,000 and could also claim four weeks of employment insurance benefits so as not to be penalized by taking time off work.
These measures are designed to support the continuous improvement of the workforce in an economy that is undergoing profound change. Among other things, workers must constantly try to remain capable of mastering new technologies.
“The problem is that the labor market is changing rapidly, technological advances and the changing realities of the global economy mean that we must always upgrade,” said the Prime Minister.
In addition, Justin Trudeau challenged Alma’s college students by noting a drop in the interest rate on loans and bursaries. The measure should allow students to save up to $2,000 on their entire debt.