Canada Calls for Us to Cut Tariffs After GM Layoff

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The Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, revealed on Friday that his administration is considering further retributory measures against the US following General Motors’ decision to slash 15% of its North American workforce. Terming the decision has a heavy blow to the Canadian economy, the Prime Minister called for the US President, Donald Trump, to consider eliminating the aluminum and steel tariffs as a way of easing the lives of persons affected by the GM closure.

Speaking in Argentina in preparation for the signing of the new US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the Prime Minister called upon the US president to consider working together with the Canadian administration on ensuring fairness as far as trade is concerned.

General Motors recently closed down five facilities in Maryland, Ontario, Michigan, and Ohio; a move that the company attributed to the re-invention of the strategic direction that GM intends to take. The restructuring initiative led to a layoff of over 14,000 employees, some of whom are from Canada while the rest are from the US.  General Motors, in a statement, justified its decision terming the closure as a strategic move to cease production of several models including various Chevrolets that have been performing quite poorly in the market. As an alternative, General Motors is expected to roll out new plants across the country that would focus on producing energy-efficient cars that are suitable for the modern-day economic and environmental challenges.

Speaking to reporters, General Motors Chief Executive Officer, Mary Barra, said that the company decided to take the initiative of reinventing itself at a point in time when the US economy is significantly strong to avoid having negative economic impacts locally.  According to GM’s assessment, the strong economy would guarantee the laid off workers employment from other booming sectors of the economy and companies.

Despite the company’s justification, the move to retrench its workers has been met with stiff opposition from US and Canadian officials. The US president sharply criticized General Motors, calling for dialogue to be instituted to determine the best strategic direction that the company should take without necessarily laying off thousands of workers.  Justin Trudeau’s call for Donald Trump to consider scaling down on steel and aluminum tariffs is highly unlikely to spark a new raw of trade wars, even pass the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement is expected to be ratified into existence in the coming days by all three countries. President Trump is yet to issue a response on the Canadian demands.

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