Ms. Sheila Copps (Hamilton East):
Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of the people of Hamilton and all those concerned with the Canadian steel industry, to express my regret over the Government's inaction with respect to the United States Trade and Tariff Act (1984). If this law goes into effect, steel products entering the United States will be required to have their country of origin stamped on them. This new, non-tariff barrier will cost the Canadian industry millions of dollars to comply with, and risk those markets where unmarked steel is required. This will end up costing Canadians steel jobs.
There was a presentation made last week at the Canadian Embassy to U.S. Customs officials about the implications of these new regulations. The Minister of International Trade (Mr. Kelleher) was visibly absent from this presentation. If the Government is at all concerned about this issue, then the very least it could do is to have the Minister personally lead the lobby to protect Canadian jobs. I might add that in the document presented this week discussing international trade, the whole steel question was left completely untouched, another indication of the Government's disinterest and lack of commitment on this issue.
The Prime Minister (Mr. Mulroney) claims the Government is approaching the issue with vigour, but its actions fall far short. I believe the Canadian Government should start to take a tougher stand with the U.S. Government on this issue and stop the smoke and mirrors approach which has been taken to date, before thousands of steel jobs in Hamilton, Sault Ste. Marie, Nova Scotia, and across the country are lost.
Subtopic: STEEL EXPORTS-EFFECT OF UNITED STATES LEGISLATION