Canadian NDP politicians are calling out the new TPP trade deal which hit the Hamilton’s steel industry. Steelworkers and pensioners are awaiting the judge’s decision on whether U.S. Steel Canada can server from its parent company and get some pensioner health benefits and local property taxes.
Andrea Horwath said that Stephen Harper has created more uncertainty about steel production in the city. She adds that he sold out steelworkers by bending auto sector parts of the deal. According to some reports, 6.1% levy on auto imports will be phased out over the next 5 years. Cars would be allowed into Canada without tariffs as long as they have 45 per cent content from the TPP, lower than the 62.5 per cent threshold under the North America Free Trade Agreement.
If elected, he said he would put money in the Automotive Innovation Fund with $250 million over the next 5 years but is set to expire in 2017-18. Under the fund, a company could receive grants that would not have to be repaid if it establishes a new assembly line or research and development which would create jobs.
Stephen Harper said that this deal is very significant for the automobile sector while Horwarth is against Harper saying he is abandoning the sector. Meanwhile Canada awaits on the judge’s decision on the CCAA (Companies Creditor’s Arrangement Act) to cut loose the financial responsibilities of Canadian operation. The steelmaker is also asking to stop paying health benefits to roughly 20,000 pensioners and about $6 million per year in city taxes. So how will Canada tackle this situation?