Windsor-Essex area MPs meet stakeholders to build auto-tariff action plan

Three Windsor-Essex area MPs met with auto industry stakeholders at a private consultation session to build a regional action plan for the potential U.S.-imposed auto tariffs.

Essex MP Tracey Ramsey wants people in the industry to work together

Windsor West MP Brian Masse says the stakeholders are hoping there's a restart on the negotiations between the two countries. (Geoff Robins/Canadian Press)

Auto industry stakeholders got to relay their concerns about U.S President Donald Trump's consideration of auto tariffs on Canadian vehicles with Windsor-Essex area MPs.

Tracey Ramsey, Brian Masse and Cheryl Hardcastle held the closed consultation session Thursday, as a starting point for building a regional strategy against the threat of tariffs.

"Underlying all of this action today is that we can work together," said Ramsey after the meeting concluded.

She heard during the meeting that while labourers, auto shops and different associations are engaging with the issue, they are doing it separately. The goal is to have an action plan for people who will potentially be affected by the tariffs if they do go through.

"We need to provide them with some tools with things that they can do," said Ramsey.

There will be a public meeting at Ciociaro Club Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m.

Essex MP Tracey Ramsey wants the money from Canada's retaliatory tariffs to be separated out from general revenues. (Meg Roberts/CBC)

'The river connects us'

Beyond working on a united front as labourers, individual shops and unions, Hardcastle said the states and Ontario need to be working together as well.

"The border is not something that separates us," she said, "We've gotta think like the river binds us, the river connects us."

The threat of U.S.-imposed auto tariffs would divide the two countries that have had a close working relationship and make North America much less competitive in the industry, she said.

And now that Canada has its own list of retaliatory tariffs, Hardcastle wants to know where the money is going, immediately.

"This needs to be separated out," she said. Ramsey echoed her thoughts and said that money should not end up in general revenues but used to help people who are affected by this trade war.

Masse will be headed to a National Governors Association meeting next week in New Mexico to speak to leaders about the potential tariffs.

"We're going to survive this, one way or another," he said.

With files from Meg Roberts

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