An article in the National Post this week by Steelworkers leaders Leo Gerard and Ken Neumann showed how lack of a steel strategy or broader industrial strategy is hurting Canada.
Even though Canada has many comparative advantages when it comes to steel production, in 2012 Canada imported $12.2 billion worth of steel and had a trade deficit in steel of $4.6 billion. Many of the countries from which Canada imports steel have industrial strategies that have helped their industry succeed.
The article points out that the lack of a steel strategy has an environmental impact. In addition to the emissions from shipping iron ore and steel across the Pacific, one reason China is able to undercut Canadian steel producers is it ignores basic environmental and labour standards.