Quebec firms not banging down the doors for aid in wake of U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs
U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum have not generated a flood of requests from Quebec companies for provincial assistance.
Investissement Québec is currently evaluating only two requests, with one of the companies involved having already received a loan of $469,000, the Economy Department said Wednesday.
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Quebec announced a $100-million program in June to offer loans and loan guarantees to the smallest companies in the province’s steel and aluminum industries.
Steel companies were hit with U.S. tariffs of 25 per cent, while aluminum tariffs were set at 10 per cent.
A spokesman for Economy Minister Dominique Anglade said in a message it was ”important” for Quebec to react quickly to the Trump administration tariffs.
“With our partners, we are following very closely the impact of the tariffs on our economy,” said Guillaume Bérubé.
Jean Simard, president of the Aluminium Association of Canada, said the number of requests for assistance may climb if Canada and the United States fail to settle their trade dispute.
”Everyone is just finding out what the possible impacts might be,” he said in a telephone interview.
Quebec’s statistics bureau says provincial exports of aluminum jumped 27 per cent between 2016 and 2017 to hit a near 10-year high of $6.1 billion.