COLUMBUS, Ohio — Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) recently cosigned a letter submitted to Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, U.S. Ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft, and Ambassador of Canada to the U.S. David MacNaughton on the effects of recent tariffs placed on American and Canadian steel and aluminum products.

The letter expressed clear opposition to the tariffs from the undersigned organizations, which included HARDI, the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating (CIPH), Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI), the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI), and the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI).

"Our members often require materials that can only be sourced from trading partners in Canada or the United States," the letter states. "This trading relationship has, understandably, developed out of our existing rules- based trade agreement and provides the best products and services to consumers in the most efficient manner possible. These new tariffs will disrupt existing trade partnerships and increase prices by 10 to 25 percent. Price increases will impact thousands of suppliers and countless families in Canada and the United States."

In order to highlight the projected impact on costs, the letter also referenced a specific tariff provision levied by Canada on water heaters that may add a 10 percent additional cost on non-electric options, create an artificial incentive for fuel switching, pose problems for regulated utilities, and restrict consumer choice.

“HARDI has been closely tracking the recent tariffs on steel and aluminum and the effects of these tariffs on our members," said Alex Ayers, HARDI Director of Government Affairs. "The inclusion of Canadian steel and aluminum is having an impact on the prices of projects across the country and has triggered retaliatory tariffs by one of our strongest trading partners. We are very interested in joining with the HVACR supply chain in Canada and the United States to support a resolution to this growing trade dispute.”

Publication date: 7/17/2018

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