P.E.I. manufacturing company watching steel standoff closely

MacDougall Steel Erectors in Borden-Carleton, P.E.I., says the suggested list of tariffs from the Canadian government will impact them with higher costs and could make them less competitive.

'We want the government to make sure they consider all things'

MacDougall Steel Erectors employs more than 150 people in the Borden-Carleton facilities. (Jane Robertson/CBC)

The steel tariffs have already been imposed by the United States but a local steel manufacturing company is keeping its eyes on the Canadian response.

The federal government has announced a list of duties up to $16.6 billion in a dollar-for-dollar reaction, that could take effect on July 1st.

In the suggested list are components that MacDougall Steel Erectors (MSE) located in Borden-Carleton, P.E.I., would use and that could impact their bottom line.

"Puts us in a difficult position, makes us much less competitive and so we want the government to make sure they consider all things," said Ron MacDougall, owner of MacDougall Steel Erectors.

"I know it is a big picture that they are looking at. MacDougall Steel is sympathetic but also we will be hurt in those areas when Canada puts those tariffs against the United States."

MacDougall says the products they manufacture are not impacted by the U.S tariffs on imports of raw Canadian steel. (Jane Robertson/CBC)

MacDougall said their manufactured products were not part of the recent 25 per cent tariff on imported steel announced by the United States.

They mostly manufacture heavy structural steel and architectural metals for office buildings, industrial projects in the oil sands, mines and skyscrapers.

The company employees more than 150 workers in its Borden-Carleton facilities.

"Our goal is to be able to take on any sized project," MacDougall said.

MacDougall says they have a number of their own training programs to help develop worker skills. (Jane Robertson/CBC)

They are planning to expand with more staff at a new facility — previously a McCain french fry plant in Borden-Carleton — and have a number of in-house training programs to help develop the area's workforce.

"We are doing our best to train people but we need to grow," MacDougall said.

"Prince Edward Island has a young, wonderful, enthusiastic bunch of young men and women who want to use their skills and we are making sure there is a place for them to come."

The federal government is taking written statements from the public about the list of tariffs until June 15th.

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