British Columbia

B.C. businesses express relief as U.S.-Canada tariff fight appear over

Relief was felt from businesses and politicians in B.C. as an end finally appears near to a battle between Canada and the U.S. over steel and aluminium tariffs.

'Good news for the thousands of people in B.C. whose jobs were affected by these tariffs,' says premier

Many sectors of the British Columbia economy said the tariffs had a negative effect on their bottom lines. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

B.C. politicians and businesses have expressed relief as an end appears near to a battle between Canada and the U.S. over steel and aluminium tariffs.

The Canadian government released a statement Friday saying Canada and the U.S. have agreed to eliminate the tariffs within two days.

The deal applies to the tariffs the U.S. imposed last June citing national security — 25 per cent on imports of steel and 10 per cent on aluminum — as well as Canada's retaliatory tariffs on steel, aluminum and as other consumer products.

B.C. Premier John Horgan was one of many to welcome the news.

"This deal is good news for the thousands of people in B.C. whose jobs were affected by these tariffs," Horgan said in a statement. "We heard from many B.C. companies that these tariffs gave them significant challenges on both sides of the border."

Business leaders were also pleased.

In a statement, the Surrey Board of Trade said that city has the largest number of manufacturers in B.C., and the tariffs were an unfortunate restriction on international trade.

Its CEO, Anita Huberman, said she also hopes the trade agreement reached between Canada, the U.S., and Mexico last year will soon be ratified.

"Now we hope that the USMCA [United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement] will be ratified quickly by the U.S. Congress, so that we can continue to grow our global economy but we need to make sure that Canadian interests are also focused on in this new agreement," Huberman said.

The tariffs were said to increase prices of many items in B.C.: from major infrastructure projects to boat dealers.

A spokesperson for the local construction industry said she was glad the issue seems to be settled.

"The lifting of tariffs — and more importantly, the ending of the trade dispute — allows construction projects to move forward with certainty about the price and supply of goods and materials that have been tariffed for almost 11 months," said Vancouver Regional Construction Association president Fiona Famulak in a statement.