How trade tariffs may affect Canadians’ summer plans

A trade war with the U.S. is shaping up to make some summer activities a lot more expensive for Canadians.

Newly imposed U.S. tariffs on Canadian aluminum and steel – and retaliation north of the border – could see the price of boats skyrocket. Prospective buyers face being slapped with a 10 per cent tax when crossing back into Canada with a vessel purchased in the States.

“(It) is going to put to put a lot of the boating industry out of reach for the average family,” Marc Savage, owner of Orleans Boat World, told CTV Ottawa.

He warned that U.S. manufacturers’ tendency to use Canadian steel to build boats and trailers means consumers here will be hit twice as hard.

“It’s going to be hit by a 10 or 25 per cent surcharge going into the U.S. And then as it crosses back, we’re going to see an additional 10 per cent,” Savage said. “Your average boat could come up anywhere from 10 per cent to 25 per cent. For the average consumer this is absolutely ridiculous.”

And dealers such as Savage will have to shoulder further costs of those customers who bought a boat and paid full price, but it won’t arrive until after the tax comes into effect on July 1.

“It’s going to end up hurting local jobs,” he added.

But, it’s not just boats that could be affected. There are fears the tariffs will also hit swimming pool sales.

“Pool walls are made up of steel panels for the most part,” explained Shawn Benson, from Campbell Pools. “Most of the manufacturers in Canada do import their steel from the U.S., so you don’t have much choice. If they hit you with the increase, you have to pass it on unfortunately.”

With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Catherine Lathem