OTTAWA, Ont. (March 29, 2012 ) — The Canadian Steel Producers Association (CSPA) commends the focus of Budget 2012 to restore fiscal balance, and is encouraged by a number of measures that aim to strengthen growth prospects for Canada’s steel and other manufacturing sectors.
“Steel plays a pivotal role in major Canadian industry supply chains, notably for the automotive, industrial equipment, resource development, and construction sectors”, said CSPA President Ron Watkins. “CSPA has consistently advocated for ‘pro-manufacturing’ public policies, programs and regulations that will better position Canada to compete for markets and investment against companies and governments around the world.”
Key measures of particular importance in Budget 2012 include:
- continued phasing in of corporate income tax cuts to allow companies to grow and invest in technology, training and human resources
- revamping immigration policies and skills programs to focus more directly on skilled trades shortages facing Canadian industry
- streamlining the regulatory approval processes for major resource projects
- improvements to certain elements of the R&D support system, notably the National Research Council, to improve support for innovation by SMEs
- commitments to further investment in Canada’s physical infrastructure
One key measure important to CSPA is the commitment to maintain and sustain an effective trade remedy system, and to make it more efficient by consolidating the investigative resources of the Canada Border Services Agency with the Canadian International Trade Tribunal. “An effective system to investigate and enforce the trade rules is critical to addressing the unfair trade practices from China and others that affect growth and jobs in our industry, and many others,” said Watkins. “CSPA will look to ensure that implementation of these changes will maintain a strong trade remedy system in Canada.”
While the Budget introduces administrative improvements in the Scientific Research and Experimental Tax Credit (SR&ED) system, CSPA is concerned with the announced reduction in support ratios and eligible costs that will reduce its effect, particularly for capital-intense projects. CSPA will continue to advocate fiscal and program initiatives to support Canadian investment and innovation, and complementary industrial skills measures.
Canada’s steel companies directly employ some 25,000 people through facilities in eight provinces and create an additional 100,000 spin-off jobs. Annual shipments total $13-14 billion, with approximately $7 billion annually in exports. The industry purchases over $9 billion of goods and services in Canada.
About the CSPA: The CSPA is committed to ensuring the sustainable success of a strong and internationally competitive Canadian steel sector. Through the Association, the industry promotes public policies that will advance Canada’s industrial competitiveness, in the areas of fiscal policy, innovation and skills, international trade, environment, energy, transportation and infrastructure. For more information on the CSPA and Canada’s steel industry, visit us at www.canadiansteel.ca.
For more information, please contact:
Canadian Steel Producers Association/
L’Association canadienne des producteurs d’acier