Ottawa, June 7, 2018 – The Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber and 2018 B7 Chair, as well as the Co-Chairs, Mme Monique F. Leroux and Mrs. Dawn Farrell, have sent this letter which opposes recent U.S. protectionist actions to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this morning.
The B7 is the Summit of business federations from the G7 countries. This letter expresses the commitment that all of these business federations have taken to open and freer trade, as highlighted in the 2018 B7 Communiqué.
Dear Prime Minister:
We are writing to you in our capacity as the Host Committee of the 2018 B7 Summit, the annual gathering of national business federations of the G7 countries.
As you know, the B7 Summit held this past April in Quebec City produced a comprehensive communiqué that included a series of recommendations for the G7 Leaders to take into account at the upcoming Charlevoix Summit focused on Inclusive Growth, Climate Change and Resource Efficiency and Scaling Up Small Business.
Since we presented our recommendations to the G7 Leaders, the government of the United States has decided to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum.
This action is contrary to the spirit and intent of the 2018 B7 Communiqué which laid out our commitment to freer global trade and investment.
Specifically, the B7 called “on governments to take a firm stance against protectionism and unilateral trade actions that risk undermining the results achieved to date in trade and global economic growth” and stressed the importance of free trade agreements.
The B7 also called on the G7 to “address issues regarding global excess capacity in steel and aluminum” and welcomed the work of the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity. We echo that call and repeat the B7’s urgent request that G7 countries “work together to tackle the root causes of excess steel capacity.”
The imposition of these tariffs will damage the vital trading relationships that have contributed to economic growth and increased prosperity around the world. Steel and aluminum trade between G7 countries is not a threat to the national security of any G7 nations and tariffs or quotas on steel and aluminum are not justified under WTO rules.
While every country has the right to fair treatment in international markets based on the WTO’s and other relevant international rules, protectionism damages competitiveness and breeds uncertainty which discourages much-needed investment. The U.S. administration’s action will cost jobs and increase the cost of living throughout the G7.
We are also concerned about the recent U.S. administration's decision to initiate an investigation into imports of autos and auto parts on the grounds of national security.
We urge the leaders of the G7 to unite against harmful protectionism and prevent an escalation of measures that would be economically damaging for all countries, including the U.S. We ask instead that focus is placed on working together as G7 countries to tackle the root causes of global excess capacity.
Only through vibrant trade among close economic partners can we achieve the more inclusive and prosperous societies that our citizens deserve. We hope this week’s Summit will provide the necessary foundation for a more collaborative and successful future.
Hon. Perrin Beatty
President and CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce and 2018 B7 Chair
Monique F. Leroux
Chair, Investissement Québec
B7 Host Committee Co-Chair
President and CEO, TransAlta
B7 Host Committee Co-Chair