The federal government is proposing to remove all remaining tariffs on imported raw materials and machinery used in Canadian manufacturing in hopes of reducing the costs of production, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said Friday.

Flaherty said the government will hold public meetings on the tariff proposal this fall. 


Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty plans to hold public hearings this fall on the government's plan to remove levies on all manufacturing imports. ((Arnold Lim/Canadian Press))

"The tariff-relief initiative now being considered follows from our economic action plan in January and would reduce production costs even further, providing both a short-term boost and a long-term competitive edge for Canadian industry," he said in a statement.

The imports that would qualify for the tariff break include everything from salt and animal hides to complex optical measuring devices and even nuclear reactors.

The government removed levies on some manufacturing imports in its budget last January. It estimated that would save Canadian businesses $440 million over five years.

The additional cut the government is proposing, which would remove duties on all imports used in manufacturing, would reduce costs to industry by another $250 million or more.

The move is consistent with Prime Minister Stephen Harper's message about reducing trade barriers between the U.S. and Canada this week during his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C.