Kitimat mayor isn’t too worried about U.S. aluminium tariff

Kitimat mayor isn’t too worried about U.S. aluminium tariff

Posted on by admin

The recent announcement by U.S. President Donald Trump to impose a ten percent tariff on Canadian aluminium could have an effect on our province.

Kitimat mayor Phil Garmuth was on the NL Morning News and was asked about how important the aluminium industry is to his town. “It’s huge for Kitimat of course. The aluminium industry has really been the anchor of this community, it’s the only reason Kitimat was built over 60 years ago. So, anything that could potentially affect that, no doubt it opens your eyes and makes you very aware.”

“There’s never been any other single plant in this region that’s had that many jobs go that long, you know 24-7 for 60 plus years so it’s a major economic generator not only for this region but, yes for the province.”

Garmuth pointed out it’s not just his town that benefits from the industry. “You know the importance of those thousand jobs here, not just to Kitimat it’s to the region. You know there’s a heck of a lot of economic benefit that spills out of Kitimat into the region and of course even our closest neighbours in Terrace they have several hundred full time workers there that work at the Kitimat smelter too so it would be a massive effect should anything negative happen here.”

Garmuth doesn’t think workers at the smelter in his town are too worried about the trade war, at least not yet. “I think everybody’s just aware of it, let’s just put it that way.”

“We are somewhat fortunate here that we have, clearly Rio Tinto’s newest smelter which is also the most efficient, very environmentally friendly but being the most efficient you would hope that if they had to curtail production in Canada that this one might be the one they have to do it at.”

This isn’t the first time Trump has slapped a tariff on Canadian aluminium but it wasn’t felt in Kitimat. “Last time there was no curtailment of any production here, we’re hoping that stays the same.”

As for any conversations with the Province or Ottawa, Garmuth says “No, those conversations haven’t happened yet but the last time these tariffs came in too, all three levels of government were ready and willing to help out if needed.”

“The federal government is willing to put their tariffs on stuff coming back over this way and the provincial government supporting that and like I said, we’re just ready, willing and able to help out any way we can.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *