'Free trade is not just about free trade, it has to be fair trade': Rob Wildeboer
The end of nearly year-old import duties on steel and aluminum between Canada, the United States and Mexico signals an improved environment for business, according to the executive chairman of Martinrea International Inc. (MRE.TO)
In an interview with BNN Bloomberg, Rob Wildeboer said that while the automotive parts manufacturer did not feel any material impact from the tariffs, the official end of the levies on Monday removes uncertainty that was hurting industries.
“I think the attitude improvement is good,” Wildeboer told BNN Bloomberg’s Amber Kanwar Tuesday.
“I think it removes a cloud to something that has been viewed very negatively and … while some steel and aluminum firms have benefited, say in the U.S., from these [tariffs], the reality is that the consumers of these commodities have been hurt and the perception of added cost has not been good for industry.”
Wildeboer added that the steel and aluminum tariffs, imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump in June 2018 on the basis of national security concerns, which lead to Canada’s own retaliatory tariffs, should never have been enforced.
“I don’t think we’re a national security risk,” Wildeboer said. “The fact that they’re gone – it’s about time. We wasted a lot of time.”