THE BUFFALO NEWS: U.S.-Canadian Trade War Hurting Erie County Economy

Modified: September 30, 2018 12:06pm

Latest News

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    Area restaurants will be added to senior dining program; allows participating seniors to choose a venue and meal each day

    October 17, 2018 1:51pm
  • Dual Port station at Chestnut Ridge will provide free electric car charging

    October 16, 2018 3:10pm
  • Plan is intended to establish a framework for preservation, enhancement of existing system


    Public comment period follows stakeholder meetings at county parks, Parks User Survey  

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  • Balanced 2019 proposal includes property tax rate cut of 2%, largest decrease in over a decade


    Enhances public health, senior protections; preserves and strengthens the People’s Mandates  


    Funding for SUNY Erie, libraries, arts & cultural groups, public art would increase; proposal also includes $32 million for road & bridge investments, $3.2 million for capital improvements in Parks

    October 12, 2018 12:45pm
  • Poloncarz, Higgins announce grants from U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


    Funding to be used to support existing Erie County Opioid Epidemic Task Force projects,

     implement Probation Opioid Response Initiative, Opioid Overdose Review Board


    October 9, 2018 3:42pm

For press releases from other years, please click on one of the following links:


By Mark C. Poloncarz

In Erie County we enjoy a special relationship with Canada. The bonds of friendship and commerce between us run deep and strengthen the economies of WNY and Southern Ontario. This long-standing and mutually beneficial relationship is under attack, however, by short-sighted tariffs imposed by the Trump administration on Canadian products, including steel, and the responding tariffs imposed on US produced goods by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

This abuse of what are referred to as section 282 tariffs, which are supposed to be reserved for national security purposes only, is already disrupting our economic sector and will soon erode our tourism industry.

Since taking office in 2012 my administration has worked with Invest Buffalo Niagara, the Erie County Industrial Development Agency (“ECIDA”), Visit Buffalo Niagara, and others to promote Erie County as a good place for Canadian businesses to expand.

We have had notable success. In just the past six years, 41 Canadian companies with products and services of all types have recognized the wisdom of establishing operations here in Erie County, investing nearly $145 million to grow their businesses and bring hundreds of new jobs to WNY.

In 2012 Welded Tube, a Canadian manufacturer of industrial-grade steel pipes, invested nearly $50 million to build their Lackawanna facility where Bethlehem Steel once stood, creating over 120 jobs. Despite great success over the past 6 years, Welded Tube was recently forced to lay off workers, cut production schedules and suspend expansion plans due to the impacts of the steel tariffs levied against Canada. Unfortunately this will not be an isolated incident. Other companies in Erie County are facing cutting jobs, wages and production to minimize the tariffs’ financial impacts.

Additionally, the trade war with Canada is negatively impacting our tourism sector. Visit Buffalo Niagara’s most recent research indicates that Canadians make more than 3 million cross border trips per year to WNY, spending in excess of $900 million during their time here. VBN and other tourism experts have noted a reduction in cross-border visits since the tariffs were imposed, resulting in the weakening of this vital economic sector.

Economic alliances such as the one we enjoy with Canada are the bedrock of our region and the foundation for growth and prosperity on both sides of the border. The misuse of 282 tariffs by the Trump administration damages that prosperous relationship, turns partners and friends against each other, and erodes economic gains in our community. Bi-partisan legislation currently before Congress would ensure that 282 tariffs are reserved for true national security crises, not to punish our oldest allies. It’s time Congress passed this legislation. It is in Erie County’s, and America’s, best interests to turn away from this destructive path and back to normal trade relations with our Canadian friends.