Quebec’s finance minister says the protectionist measures of the Trump administration are already being felt on the ground in the province.
Carlos Leitao says companies in the manufacturing sector that sell or buy steel and aluminum – which have been hit by 25 and 10 per cent tariffs respectively – are facing negative impacts.
The minister says he’s also concerned about a slowdown in private investment in Quebec because many may wait due to a concern about ongoing access to the U.S. market.
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U.S. President Donald Trump’s statements and actions are also causing uncertainty around the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which until now has been a guarantee of market access in Canada, Mexico and the U.S.
While tariffs are a form of intimidation to obtain concessions in NAFTA renegotiations, Leitao says he is not worried about supply management because is not the main U.S. target even if Trump has complained publicly about the Canadian agricultural issue.
The provincial minister says changing supply management for dairy and other sectors is “not negotiable.”