Canadian Association of Mold Makers tariffs forum in Windsor. July 18, 2018. (Photo by Paul Pedro)

Manufacturers Hoping For The Best, Planning For The Worst

Worried about the cost of doing business and job losses, the Canadian manufacturing sector is planning for the impact of U.S. tariffs.

About 300 manufacturers attended a Windsor forum Wednesday afternoon.

Johnathon Azzopardi, board chair of the Canadian Association of Mold Makers in Windsor and president of Laval Tool in Windsor, says the best plan is to keep the North American Free Trade Agreement and the U.S. as a partner.

Azzopardi says manufacturers are fear tariffs on steel, aluminum, and possibly imported vehicles will devastate business.  He says some could leave Canada, but quickly adds that they won’t move to the U.S. He predicts they will likely end up in Europe.

Azzopardi says manufacturers stand with Ottawa but adds more could be done to avoid the job-killing tariffs.

A common theme among manufacturers at the meeting is that no fight is the best fight.

Stephen MacKenzie, CEO of the Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation, says 20,000 local manufacturing jobs are on the line.

Many, including the Mayor of Windsor, hope that U.S. President Donald Trump is using tariffs as a bargaining ploy in the ongoing NAFTA renegotiations.