Stelco pushes PM for help in dealing with ‘changing landscape’ for steel

Stelco reported surge in revenues in the final quarter of last year, despite 25% tariffs

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with Executive Chairman of Stelco Inc. Alan Kestenbaum in his office on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, April 11, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Canadian steel producer Stelco is looking for more support from the federal government as the country’s steel and aluminum producers grapple with punishing U.S. tariffs imposed on exports of their products south of the border.

Stelco Holdings Inc., president and executive chairman Alan Kestenbaum met with Justin Trudeau in Ottawa Thursday.

While he thanked the prime minister for the government’s support of the metals industry since the imposition of American tariffs last year, Kestenbaum said steel producers are now facing new pressures.

Stelco reported a surge in income and revenues in the final quarter of last year, despite the 25 per cent tariffs on steel imported from Canada that the Trump administration imposed last June.

The company reported net income of $108 million on revenue of $648 million in the three months ending Dec. 31, compared with $16 million of income and revenues of $452 million during the same period in 2017.

READ MORE: U.S. tariffs on steel, aluminum could be gone in weeks, ambassador says

But the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) issued a report last week that could see Canadian import restrictions lifted on some steel products.

The provisional safeguards announced in October, designed to shield domestic producers from a flood of imports into Canada resulting from the U.S. tariffs, were considered by the World Trade Organization as emergency measures and are set to expire in about a month’s time.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau issued emergency import restrictions on seven products, arguing that they posed a serious threat to Canada’s steel industry.

The CITT report, issued April 3, ruled the safeguards were warranted on just two of the seven products.

The report is not binding on Morneau, who can choose to ignore some or all of the findings and make the safeguards permanent.

“The measures that were put in place, the actions that were put in place, have enabled Stelco and other steel producers to really be able to operate well in this very, very difficult environment,” Kestenbaum said as he sat with Trudeau in the prime minister’s West Block office.

“Today we’re here to talk about a changing landscape.”

Kestenbaum suggested he was looking to Trudeau for help in preserving jobs in Canada’s steel industry.

The prime minister told Kestenbaum his government is focused on supporting the steel industry and its workers as they continue to face what Trudeau described as “punitive” and “illegitimate” tariffs.

Trudeau said officials from his government have been meeting “almost daily” with U.S. officials in attempts to have the duties lifted.

In the meantime, the government is having discussions on how to support the metal industries, he said.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Purple Light Nights committee of Chilliwack is rolling out exciting new events starting Oct. 1

Key message is still that intimate partner violence has no place in our community

Agassiz administrator to teach ‘psychological first aid’ course

ACE principal Sandy Balascak will be sharing how to help others deal with a mental health crisis

Shandhar Hut of Chilliwack wins bragging rights for best Indian cuisine in B.C.

The popular family restaurant saw an outpouring of testimonials and voting from adoring clientele

Vokes range in Chilliwack River Valley reopens to military marksmenship training

The rifle range shut down last summer due to safety concerns about richochets, according to DND

Armed ERT officers respond to firearm report near Chilliwack middle school Friday

School put in hold-and-secure in the afternoon as incident was resolved

VIDEO: “How dare you?” Greta Thunberg addresses UN climate summit

‘We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and yet all you can talk about is money.’

Pettersson has 4 points as Canucks dump Ottawa 6-4

Vancouver wins NHL pre-season tilt in Abbotsford

British man returns to Yukon to tipple his own toe in long-running tradition

So-called sourtoe cocktail is a shot of whisky with a mummified human toe in it

Poll suggests Canadians concerned about fake news, but struggle to spot it

56 per cent of respondents admitted to reading or sharing inaccurate news

Province announces $3.5 million in funding for community solutions to overdose crisis

Grants up to $50,000 will be available for municipalities working with a regional health authority

Conservatives’ plan to ease mortgage stress-test rules may raise debt and prices

Andrew Scheer vows to loosen rules around stress test and remove it altogether for mortgage renewals

B.C. mom urges patience after rude comments while out with toddlers

People asked to be better and to help each other

U.S. wrestler says viral speeding ticket video was staged

WWE wrestler Lacey Evans says she does not condone disrespecting law enforcement officers

‘Own a piece of history’: Beachcombers location Molly’s Reach up for sale

‘This is one of B.C.’s most photographed buildings’

Most Read