Last Friday at midnight, the new Trump-driven tariffs — 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum — officially kicked in, a move that is expected to make Canadians pay more for cars, refrigerators and beer (just to name a few). For decades, Canada has been the biggest supplier of steel and aluminum to the U.S., exporting nearly 90% of our product. That's more than any other country. But the Trump administration has cited rising national security interests, saying the U.S. military needs a domestic supply for its tanks and ships.
With the benefit of free trade lost, US demand for Canadian steel will drop, the price will rise and jobs will be lost, leading one University of Toronto economist to state, "Canada has been held hostage to American policy." In response, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross says, "Countries will get over this in due course."
This recent news got me thinking about Ennis Steel (Port Robinson) once more. Several years ago, I did an extensive photo set of the location. Recently, I noticed that the entire property has been converted into a giant holding yard for thousands of leftover vehicles from the Volkswagen Emission Scandal. Recently, the plant owner died just shy of being 100-years old.
The tariffs, the emission scandal, the death of "Bunny"... it stuck Ennis Steel in my mind and I knew I wouldn't be able to shake it out without a revisit to the location for the first time in years. This time I focused more on the front offices instead of the plant itself, as they had not been accessible on my previous visit. - 01 - - 02 - - 03 - - 04 - - 05 - - 06 - - 07 - - 08 - - 09 - - 10 - - 11 - - 12 - - 13 - - 14 - - 15 - - 16 - - 17 - - 18 - - 19 - - 20 - ______________________________________________________
"Bunny" Ennis, the previous owner of the location, did not live long enough to see either the end of free trade or his property sold to become a giant holding yard. He passed away on March 18, 2018 at the proud old age of 96. He is remembered as a real gentleman and very successful businessman in the steel industry. Despite being their boss, previous workers remembered him as having a great sense humour and a kind expression on his face at all times.
If you have any interest in seeing my previous post from this location, you can find it here: http://www.uer.ca/...urrpage=1&pp#post0
As if right on cue with this post, the news got even darker tonight. This is only the beginning... the trade war is coming.