Bi-national Business, Government and Labor Leaders Stand Together in Opposing Steel and Aluminum Tariffs


Bi-national Business, Government and Labor Leaders Stand Together in Opposing Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

Group believes tariffs imposed by Trump administration jeopardize economic strength of bi-national region

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership joined together with the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce (Ontario), as well as government and labor leaders, in opposing the steel and aluminum tariffs recently imposed by the Trump administration.  The bi-national group believes the tariffs will negatively impact the economy on both sides of the border, drive up costs for manufacturers and consumers and threaten jobs.  In late May, President Trump imposed a 25 percent tariff on steel imported from Canada, Mexico and the European Union, as well as a 10 percent tariff on aluminum.  The move comes as the United States attempts to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico.

“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, the area’s regional chamber of commerce.  “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.”

“As a dual citizen, I am concerned by the unraveling of the U.S.-Canada relationship,” said Keanin Loomis, President & CEO, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.  “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.  As leaders of two communities that will be hit the hardest, it’s important that we demonstrate unity in encouraging our leaders to achieve that win-win outcome that is within grasp.”

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an analysis conducted by the Trade Partnership shows that 470,000 American jobs are threatened by the newly imposed steel and aluminum tariffs.  Many of those jobs are directly connected to cross-border business between Canada and the United States where companies have integrated supply chains.  The cost of this policy continues to grow as $40 billion worth of retaliatory tariffs have been announced to date by U.S. allies around the world, including Canada.

These tariffs are especially harmful for New York State.  Canada is New York State’s number one trading partner.  The state exports $15 billion worth of goods to Canada annually – more than any foreign nation.  Local government and labor leaders from both sides of the border are concerned about the impact these tariffs will have on our bi-national economy.

“The imposition of tariffs and the commencement of a trade war between the United States and Canada benefit neither country and will inevitably hurt the Western New York and Southern Ontario economies,” said Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.  “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.  We have a close and mutually beneficial relationship with our Canadian brothers and sisters, a relationship that has brought prosperity and security on both sides of the border across generations.  It is disturbing to see the Trump Administration’s focus on implementing policies that would harm large numbers of Americans and create turmoil between countries that are more than just trading partners but nations bound together by decades of trust and friendship.  These tariffs create problems where none existed, fray the economic bonds that bring us together, and make us weaker overall.  That is why today we, government and business leaders from both sides of the border, call on leaders of both nations to step back from the precipice of an unnecessary trade war, repeal these tariffs and instead work together to further the relationship our two, great nations have had. No one wins in a trade war, but by working together we can all continue to benefit from the shared prosperity of a united U.S. Canadian market.”

“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.

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is the area’s regional chamber of commerce and privately-funded economic development organization. Partnership members employ more than a quarter of a million people in the Buffalo Niagara region. By mobilizing members and strategic partners around common goals, the Partnership grows private investment and jobs in Buffalo Niagara through advocacy, business development, and convening.

For Press Inquiries, Please Contact Grant Loomis, Vice President, Government Affairs at or 716-541-1736