Nova Scotia premier to discuss trade issues during trip to Washington, D.C.
McNeil says he wants to drive home the effects of tariffs on U.S. jobs as well as the imperilled investment opportunities in Nova Scotia
HALIFAX – Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil says he will travel to Washington, D.C., on Monday to discuss potential American tariffs on cars and auto parts.
McNeil says he will meet with officials at the United States Department of Commerce to talk about the effect tariffs would have on the auto sector.
He says tires made by Michelin in Nova Scotia would be affected because of North America’s highly integrated manufacturing of automobiles and the fact the company operates on both sides of the international border.
McNeil says he wants to impress upon American officials that tariffs would affect jobs in the U.S. while imperilling investment opportunities in Nova Scotia.
The French-based tire giant has three plants in Nova Scotia and employs more than 3,200 workers, according to the company’s website.
McNeil said he has been reassured of the company’s continued commitment to the province.
The Trump administration launched an investigation in May into whether tariffs are needed on the imports of automobiles into the United States. The White House said President Donald Trump had asked Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to consider whether the imports of automobiles, including trucks, and automotive parts threaten U.S. national security.
McNeil was asked following a cabinet meeting Thursday whether a meeting with the Commerce Department would have any effect.
“I think if you ask the softwood industry in Nova Scotia they would say it does,” he said. “We have an exclusion (from duties) after our meeting with them.”
Last November, the province learned that the U.S. would maintain the longstanding exclusion of Nova Scotia from softwood lumber duties.
According to the province, $3.5 billion in goods were exported from Nova Scotia to the U.S. in 2017—a figure that accounted for 65 per cent of the total international goods exported from the province.