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Canadian CEO says tariff removal could mean more WNY jobs

Posted at 11:12 PM, May 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-20 09:36:48-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Welded Tube of Canada took a direct hit last summer when the United States and Canada entered a trade war, which included tariffs over steel and aluminum.

The Canadian facility has a production facility in Lackawanna. Last summer, 60 Western New Yorkers were told to pack up and go home. The company couldn't, cost effectively, move their product back and forth over the border.

Simply, the company makes pipes for gas and oil companies, in both Canada and the U.S.

“The job losses that were created were just so unnecessary,” said Welded Tube of Canada President and CEO Robert “Butch” Mandel.

Now, those Tariffs are gone and the questions begin, will the jobs return to Lackawanna?

“We will now have to take a look and see how we reorganize ourselves again, in such that we can, essentially put Humpty-Dumpty back together again,” added Mandel.

Mandel says it too early to get specifics with numbers. But, initially, the plan is to get the Lackawanna site back up and running to where it was prior to the tariffs.

“I just hope there is a lesson that has been learned,” added Mandel. “Let's not put tariffs on again.”

President Donald Trump initially created these tariffs trying to protect U.S. jobs and help bolster the economy. He removed this nearly year-long tariff on Canada and Mexico in hopes to get a new trade agreement in place.