Premier Wynne Calls on American Partners to Stand with Ontario and End Uncertainty

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

HAMILTON — Premier Kathleen Wynne was at Stelco today to stand up for Ontario steelworkers. As Canada's exemption from new U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports is set to expire, Premier Wynne is calling on U.S. states, companies and customers who rely on Canadian steel to speak up and urge President Trump to end this ongoing uncertainty and remove the threat of tariffs for good.

Premier Wynne helped to secure the exemption earlier in this year, after months of advocacy on behalf of Ontario workers and businesses in the U.S., meeting with 37 Governors and dozens of senators, members of congress and senior members of the Trump administration. The exemption was critical for Ontario’s steel industry, with more than 70 per cent of Canada’s steel production capacity located in our province. Ontario’s steel industry directly employs 16,000 people and indirectly supports almost 53,000 jobs in our province.

At a fragile and uncertain period in our trade relations, Premier Wynne’s extensive experience and knowledge of trade-related issues, together with her strong cross-border relationships and negotiating skills, have helped to protect Ontario workers and businesses from the threat of U.S. protectionism. Premier Wynne has been the only Ontario leader to clearly and consistently stand up for our workers and their jobs — by working directly with those affected industries to understand their position and advocate in their best interest. It is simply inconceivable to imagine either Doug Ford or Andrea Horwath effectively fighting for Ontario and for free trade.

Premier Wynne highlighted how her strong record of working with workers, businesses and U.S. leadership puts her in the best position to lead Ontario’s economy in 2018. This record includes:

  • Standing up for Ontario workers as NAFTA is renegotiated. Over the last year, Premier Wynne has worked with 37 U.S. Governors to bolster jobs, trade and cooperation between our economies.
  • Successfully helping to restructure Stelco to preserve 2,200 jobs and protect pensions and health benefits for 12,000 retirees.
  • Investing in the Jobs and Prosperity Fund, by partnering with growth-oriented, job-creating businesses 
  • Raising the minimum wage to $14 and then $15 an hour, which is already changing lives — food bank usage in Ontario is down for the first time.

Doug Ford has spoken about his admiration for Donald Trump, even in the face of the chaos and uncertainty the Trump administration has caused for Ontario. Meanwhile, the NDP have historically campaigned against free trade agreements. They would put ideology ahead of good jobs across Ontario.

Only Ontario Liberals will stand up for workers and business, and the strong economy they’re building for everyone. Our plan expands publicly funded prescription drugs to cover one-in-two people in Ontario, makes the largest mental health care investment in Canadian history, builds a record amount of transit, boosts hospital funding, helps more people go to college or university with publicly funded tuition and lets more parents go back to work by funding preschool child care from 2 ½ to kindergarten. Ontario’s economy is growing stronger, but that growth and the care and services it funds are at risk this election.


“We’re standing up for Ontario’s interests in the face of U.S. uncertainty — and it’s working. Now that the exemption we secured from President Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum imports is set to expire, it’s time to redouble our efforts. I’m calling on our U.S. partners to urge President Trump to clear up the cloud of uncertainty hanging over our steel and aluminium industry and I will continue to build on the strong relationships I have developed with government and business leaders. Working together, we will secure the good jobs at great companies like Stelco.”

—Premier Kathleen Wynne


  • Ontario is home to more than 70 per cent of Canada's steel-making capacity. The industry is a key employer, supporting good jobs in places like Sault Ste. Marie and Hamilton and in related industries across our province.


For more information: