Jagmeet Singh, leader of the federal New Democratic Party, visited Windsor recently to find out how tariffs and changes to the free trade agreement could affect companies in the region’s large US-facing manufacturing sector.
In the course of the visit, Singh met with the Canadian Association of Mold Makers (CAMM) at Laval International.
He said the dominant mood of manufacturers in the region is uncertainty, as companies are unsure what “the rules of the game” are.
“That doesn’t develop the right type of business climate for companies to succeed and for workers to be able to have that confidence that they’ll have a job to continue to go to,” Singh said, as reported by the CBC.
Singh said the potential fallout from NAFTA negotiations could be serious, and that this part of the country is likely to be especially strongly affected.
Singh also met with workers and union leaders during his visit.
He said that he hopes to use what he learned during his visit to pressure the Liberal government in Ottawa to work on developing strategies to help Canada’s manufacturing sector deal with the uncertain business conditions.
Laval president and CEO – and CAMM chair – Jonathan Azzopardi said that he met with Singh in the hope that he could get the message to Ottawa that manufacturing is a vital industry. And he seemed pleased by the tone of the meeting, saying that Singh was “receptive” and “very grass roots.”
Azzopardi said he wanted the government to develop short term and long term plans for manufacturing. The short term plans might include more protectionism on Ottawa’s part, as well as quotas and trade assistance.
Long term, Azzopardi hopes to see a strategy that supports the manufacturing sector, and he emphasized that the industry plans to stay in it for the long haul.
“We’re not closing up shop, rolling up the sidewalks and moving out just because times are tough. That’s not how we operate,” he told the CBC.
Read the full CBC article here.