On July 23, Opposition House Leader, the Honourable Candice Bergen, and Opposition Shadow Minister for Health, Marilyn Gladu, were in Sarnia meeting with local business owners as part of the cross-Canada Defend Local Jobs tour.
MP Gladu noted that, “we heard concerns and recommendations which I will take forward. Alleviating the economic pressure being created by tariff disputes with the U.S. is crucial for Canadian business and industry.”
Bergen and Gladu attended a roundtable with the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce where they heard three key challenges Canadian businesses are facing.
The primary challenge is the lower manufacturing cost in the United States, making it the less expensive and more competitive option when choosing where to manufacture. One company highlighted they are moving jobs from Sarnia, Ontario to Michigan because it is more cost effective.
The second challenge is taxes. The U.S. has lowered the corporate tax rate and their tax system provides stability, and transparency for businesses. Because Canadian business taxes are increasing, and new taxes are being added, such as the Carbon Tax, Canadian businesses are often left paying more taxes than they expected to, leaving Canada less competitive.
The third challenge is a lack of education regarding Canadian business programs they can take advantage of. One example was a program allowing Canadian companies to recoup the costs of tariffs, which helps to offset the costs of trade barriers. However, almost no one at the table knew of the program.
Gladu, as the Member of Parliament for Sarnia—Lambton highlighted, “local businesses here and across the country are facing uncertainty and undue challenges. It is time to get NAFTA signed to defend and protect our local jobs.”
Conservatives are working with local business, workers, and community groups across the country to develop a plan that addresses the impacts of trade challenges facing Canada.