Steel Tariffs Threaten Bi-national Economy

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership recently joined together with the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce in opposing the Trump administration’s recently imposed steel and aluminum tariffs. The move risks a historic trading relationship between the United States and Canada and could have detrimental consequences for economies on both sides of the border. 

“The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is concerned about these tariffs and other actions by the administration that risk the historic trading relationship between the United States and Canada, which is essential to both our economies,” said Dottie Gallagher-Cohen, President & CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. “Buffalo Niagara is at the heart of a dynamic bi-national region. Our economy and many of its opportunities for growth are directly tied to Southern Ontario. Government policies should bind the United States and New York State closer to Canada, not create false barriers to trade, job creation and economic opportunity.” 

The steel and aluminum tariffs and the retaliatory tariffs imposed by Canada come as the United States attempts to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico.   

Keanin Loomis, President & CEO of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, underscored the importance of bi-national cooperation in the face of this economic dilemma: “Not only is this not how neighbors and allies should be acting toward one another, but tariffs against each other’s exported goods only serve to damage the businesses on both sides of the border that have become so integrated under NAFTA.” 

Canada is New York’s number one trading partner. The importance of this relationship is borne out by the numbers.

  • 1,084 Canadian-owned businesses employ nearly 79,000 New Yorkers.  
  • 689, 900 jobs in New York depend on trade and investment with Canada 
  • In New York alone, at least 1,198 companies employing more than 75,350 people will be impacted by these tariffs.  

Gallagher-Cohen and Loomis were recently joined by government and labor leaders from both sides of the border at an event outlining opposition to these tariffs. “In Erie County, our close relationship to Canada has fostered cross-border business and economic activity that has been integral to the recent economic success of our region,” said Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.   

“This ill-conceived tariff will negatively impact companies that rely upon steel up and down the supply chain that spans both sides of the border, resulting in job losses and higher prices for consumers,” said Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger. 

“These tariffs will drive up costs for manufacturers and consumers on both sides of the border and put a staggering amount of regional jobs at risk,” said Gallagher-Cohen. 

Tariff Blog Press Photo
Dottie Gallagher-Cohen, President & CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, is joined by David Wasiura of United Steel Workers; Keanin Loomis, President & CEO, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce; Mark Poloncarz, Erie County Executive